Public slow to respond to new drinking water program for rural San Joaquin Valley residents

May 6, 2021
Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting trainee
by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting trainee
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.
Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting trainee
Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting trainee


Residents can apply for well testing online or call/email for help through management zone websites.

Management zones are based on groundwater subbasins including the Turlock, Modesto, Chowchilla, Kaweah, Tule and Kings subbasins. To find out if you live within a management zone, you can enter your address into THIS INTERACTIVE MAP.

Residents of Tulock/Modesto subbasins, which generally includes western Stanislaus County, can apply HERE, call (209) 750-3867 or email:

Residents of Chowchilla subbasin, which generally includes western Madera County, can apply HERE, call (559) 373-7399 or email:

Residents of Kings subbasin, which generally includes central Fresno and eastern Kings Counties, can apply HERE, call (559) 549-674 or email:

Residents of Kaweah subbasin, which generally includes northwestern Tulare County, can apply HERE, call (559) 325-4463 or email:

Residents of Tule subbasin, which generally includes southwestern Tulare County, can apply HERE, call (559) 429-6970 or email:

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The state is finally beginning to address a decades-long problem of dangerous drinking water in parts of the San Joaquin Valley under a new “management zone” program but hardly anyone is paying attention.

Even the prospect of free water testing and free water hasn’t garnered much enthusiasm.

Regardless of the lackluster response, program managers will offer free nitrate testing for domestic well owners starting May 7. If the water has nitrate above the safe level,

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Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting trainee }

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