Inland Empire's groundwater supply contains unhealthy chemicals

Published On : 7/19/2012 11:01 AM
From : KVCR
Categories : Local

The U-S Geological Survey collaborated with the California Water Resources Control Board on a statewide assessment of groundwater quality. The findings show that, in the Inland Empire, up to a quarter of the underground aquifers that supply water to the public were contaminated with high concentrations of nitrate.

11 percent of the region’s groundwater supply contained high concentrations of perchlorate, and more than half of the 300 Inland locations where groundwater was tested had moderate concentrations of perchlorate.

The California Department of Public Health says high concentrations of nitrate and perchlorate in drinking water can lead to adverse health effects. Nitrate is the result of agricultural activity, wastewater treatment, and septic tank leakage.

Sources of perchlorate include fertilizers, fireworks, and rocket fuel, all of which are currently - or have in the past - been manufactured in the Inland Empire. The study notes that groundwater does undergo treatment and filtering to meet state and local drinking water standards before it’s distributed for public consumption.

But federal and state officials say the study should be used by local and county governments to focus on where groundwater contaminants might need to be regulated, and where the quality of the region’s underground water supply needs to be improved.

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