Thousands of Californians Have Contaminated Water Coming From Taps
Because the state data doesn’t account for the nearly 2 million Californians still relying on private wells or factor in contamination from Chromium-6, experts said the number of people with toxic water is likely even higher.
“When I shower my kids, I use to give them hot baths, but not anymore,” Gonzalez said.
“Now we just wash, rinse and get out.” The water that comes out of her Oakvale Park home is contaminated.
The contaminated water runs into about 100 homes in the area.
“It can cause cancer (and) in the case of nitrate in very high levels, it can even cause death after a few days of high exposure.” Her organization said short-term health effects of drinking uranium-contaminated water include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as liver and kidney damage.
Water is shut-off to some 18,000 students at four different school districts as further testing is done.
“Having toxic water coming out of your tap, not being able to access water in schools, this is really basic.” Tainted water in wells and public water systems in the San Diego area contain unsafe levels of uranium, fluoride, nitrate and arsenic, according to the state data.
“Here we are in the 21st century in the great state of California, one of the largest economies in the world, and people do not have water running in their homes.” While the state has made progress in getting clean, safe drinking water to rural residents, Felicia Marcus, chair of California’s Water Resources Control Board, says there’s more to do.
Although more than a million residents are estimated to be affected by contaminated water, it’s not something on the minds of those living in California’s urban centers.
In Oakvale Park, Juana Gonzalez helps some of her less fortunate neighbors by giving them a ride to the nearest place to buy water.