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Drinking Water

Clean water plans need more public involvement, activists say

 •  by Lois Henry
An effort under the Central California Regional Water Quality Control Board to get clean drinking water to people living in the Central Valley, created "management zones" showing which areas have the worst pollution.

The stage is finally set for years of talking to be translated into actual clean drinking water for potentially thousands of San Joaquin Valley residents.

But activists fear the effort will flop before the curtain rises if more isn’t done to engage the people who are drinking that water.

The issue is nitrate, which is  rife the valley’s groundwater and considered dangerous for infants and pregnant women.

As part of a larger overhaul of its salt and nitrate plan for the entire basin, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board mandated last March that nitrate dischargers come up with two sets of plans to clean up nitrate in drinking water.

  1. Immediate clean drinking water on an interim basis for residents whose community systems or private wells are overloaded with nitrate.
  2. Long-term solutions to abate and keep nitrate out of drinking water supplies.

Those preliminary plans are due March 8.

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Lois Henry
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