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California Water Woes

18 October, 2013 (16:47) | Uncategorized | By: admin

When we think about water resources, lakes, streams and rivers readily come to mind.  However, the tiny water droplets hidden between the rocks and soil underground supplies 30 times more water than all fresh-water lakes in the world and an astonishing 3,000 times more than all the streams found in the world.  Considering that nearly fifty percent of California residents rely on groundwater for their daily drinking water, it makes sense to examine how safe this water is.

California has been plagued by water concerns over the years, and 2013 has been no different.  The Central Valley has had a prominent place in the news due to the excessively high amount of nitrates in the groundwater and unfortunately it is not the only region in California that is experiencing this problem.  Contaminates can find their way into the ground from several sources, most frequently from, agriculture, septic tanks, industrial plants, leakage from underground storage tanks and other natural sources.

The two most prevalent contaminates found in California groundwater are arsenic and nitrates.  Municipal water supply facilities are mandated to maintain arsenic levels at a minimum, although they are not required to remove it completely.  Arsenic levels are of particular concern for privately owned wells however; western states and most notably California have been identified as areas with high arsenic levels.  According to the EPA, long term human exposure to arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidneys, nasal passages, liver and prostrate.

Due to the massive agriculture industry in the state of California, nitrates have also come under scrutiny in the past several years.  Nitrates can be naturally occurring in the ground; however a major contributor of nitrates found in our drinking water is caused by runoff stemming from fertilizer use.  Exposure to excessive nitrates can also lead to some serious health conditions.  Infants ingesting nitrate contaminated water from formula can become seriously ill and experience shortness of breath and an inability to properly oxygenate blood which leads to “blue baby syndrome”.  Adults with long term exposure to nitrates have a greater risk of cancer, predominantly colorectal cancer.

The only way to remove both nitrates and arsenic is through a drinking water system such as a reverse osmosis or through ion exchange.  Reverse osmosis systems remove both nitrates and Arsenic 5, and an ion exchange system such as a LINX drinking water system removes nitrates as well as Arsenic 3 and Arsenic 5.  If your water source comes from a well, it is extremely important to have your water tested to see what contaminants might be lurking within; arsenic is odorless and tasteless so testing is the only way to discover if it is there.  There are solutions available to remediate water contamination so make sure you are drinking the cleanest and safest water available.

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