Groundwater Of California Is Filled With Contaminants


Ground water in California has been found to be contaminated and the contaminants are both natural and human made. A new study has been completed by U.S geological Survey which gave the results, according to them, on one hand, due to the drought condition in the state, its water resources are getting drier, and on the other hand, presence of contaminants is alarming for the state authorities in almost one fifth of the ground water of the state.

Report which was published recently in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology showed that the survey took a long time almost a decade and included 11,000 public water supply wells of California from which data was collected. The wells examined under the study are the main source of water for all the residents for the consumption of tap water through the public water systems.

Previously, different studies have been done on the particular topic but they were confined to some aquifers and looked for contaminants in them but this study of USGS is not limited to some parts of the state rather it consists of a thorough survey covering an extensive range of affected regions. The survey helped to gain the attention of water authorities and regulatory authorities towards the situation of the ground water which can be dangerous for the health of many people.

It has been disclosed in the study that the water supply reaching the population consists of natural contaminants such as uranium and arsenic. The concentration of these contaminants is so high that they are present in almost twenty percent of the ground water while there human made contaminants as well in the ground water including nitrate and organic solvents. Almost 5 percent of the ground water has the presence of such contaminants.


The findings of the study and their importance have been explained by USGS Groundwater Assessment Chief Kenneth Belitz. He said;

“This is the most comprehensive study of groundwater contamination conducted by any state in the nation,” he said, per the Times. “It tells us which contaminants are most important and where they are.”

He told about the areas where the contaminants are present in large concentration. According to him, Santa Ana Basin and the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys are the areas where nitrates and other organic solvents are present in a very large proportion.

Briana Mordick who is a staff scientists at the Natural Resources Defense Council has criticized the performance of the state regulators and the water authorities because they did not notice the ground water realities for long time. Protection is need for the ground water and it is now time to take some steps rather than treating it like they doing currently.

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