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Is our water quality really that bad?
Unfortunately, yes. While the levels of contaminants in our drinking water fall within federal guidelines, many experts—including the state of California—still believe these trace amounts are too high. The Environmental Working Group, a nationwide advocacy organization that monitors water quality, notes that our municipal water supply has 13 contaminants that exceed their recommendations.
- Pesticide Runoff: All our agriculture here in the Central Valley also impacts our surface and groundwater supplies. This means pesticides can leech into the tap water, contaminating it with dangerous chemicals.
- Herbicide Runoff: Just as is the case with pesticides, herbicides—used by farmers to kill weeds—can get into the tap water supply of Central Valley homes. Herbicides can have a number of negative health impacts.
- Nitrates: Nitrates are a byproduct of agricultural runoff found in fertilizer. They’re also a known carcinogen. According to the EWG, Fresno’s water has 38x their recommended levels of nitrates.
- Arsenic: Arsenic, a poison, is known to cause cancer, even in trace amounts. Compared to EWG guidelines, Fresno’s tap water has 189 times the recommended limit of arsenic—well above the national average.
- Drug Contamination: Improper prescription drug disposal can end up contaminating ground and surface water supplies, leading to trace amounts of harmful chemicals in our water.
- Carcinogens: There are many other cancer-causing chemicals—including many byproducts of industrial and agricultural work—found in Fresno’s water supply. This includes DBCP, TTHMs, and many other contaminants. If You Live In Fresno, Better-Tasting Water Is Within Reach
Many experts, including those at the Simple Lab water testing laboratory in Berkeley, consider our drinking water to be among the worst in the country.
They note that compliance with federal regulations means very little. National drinking water standards are notoriously out-of-date and not in sync with present research.