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Drinking Water

Fail: Tule Basin drinking water plan kicked back for a redo

 •  by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
The Central California Regional Water Quality Control Board designated several "management zones" in the San Joaquin Valley to address unsafe drinking water contaminated with nitrate. A free testing program begins in the zones for rural residents May 7.

When Sandra Chavez’ mother discovered she had stage four cancer last year, one of Sandra’s first thoughts was about their water. Her family’s private well is contaminated with nitrates and Chavez wondered if years of drinking the water could have caused her mother’s sickness.

Chavez and her family have relied on bottled water since they found out their well water was unsafe in 2015. But sometimes they don’t have enough and are forced to drink the contaminated water. So when Chavez found out about a new program providing free bottled water delivery for families with nitrate-contaminated wells, she was frustrated she hadn’t been contacted.

“They’re the ones responsible for reaching out to my family and families that have the same issue as mine,” said Chavez. “It’s very negligent of them.”

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Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
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