Nitrates in Drinking Water: New Attention from State Water Board

The drinking water in the town of Tulare County's Tooleville is contaminated with nitrates. (Photo: Sasha Khokha)

The drinking water in the Tulare County community of Tooleville is contaminated with nitrates. (Photo: Sasha Khokha)

As Sasha Khokha detailed on The California Report this morning, a major U.C. Davis report released today found that more than 250,000 people living in some of California’s prime farming areas are at risk of drinking water contaminated with nitrates. The contamination is largely from fertilizer used widely across California farmland and from animal manure from large dairies and other confined animal facilities.

Nitrates are linked to health problems including thyroid illnesses, some cancers and a type of “blue baby syndrome,” a blood disorder caused by a high concentration of nitrates which can be fatal to babies.

The new report–Addressing Nitrate in California’s Drinking Water–looks at the Tulare Lake Basin, including Fresno and Bakersfield, as well as the Salinas Valley, including Salinas and areas near Monterey.  Continue reading