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Many in Calif. rely on contaminated water sources

Posted: February 7, 2013 12:00 p.m.
Updated: February 7, 2013 12:00 p.m.

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A new report says more than half of California's population relies on a drinking water supply contaminated by arsenic, nitrates and other contaminants, though most communities blend or treat their water to make it safe.

The report by the State Water Resources Control Board was ordered by the state Legislature and released this week.

It says from 2002 to 2010, 680 out of a little more than 3,000 community water systems in the state relied on one or more contaminated groundwater wells. Those contaminated wells served 21 million people.

Arsenic was the most detected naturally-occurring contaminant, while nitrate was the most detected human-caused contaminant. Chemical fertilizers and livestock manure are the main source of nitrate contamination in groundwater.

The report stresses that most of the communities treat the water, so what residents get is safe.


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