Category Archives: Ground water

How the Drought is Poisoning California’s Drinking Water

california drought water quality

As California struggles through the fourth year of its historic drought, the effects are starting to hit a little closer to home… and our health.

The results of a 10-year study of California groundwater quality showed some disturbing findings.

Normally, Californians get about 30% of their drinking water from aquifers, but the drought has forced Californians to rely on these aquifers for more than 60% of our water needs.

The study found that roughly 20% of our groundwater is contaminated with high concentrations of dangerous substances like arsenic, uranium and nitrates. And it’s not getting any better…

As groundwater keeps getting lower, our drinking water will become more and more unsafe.

The longer the drought continues, the more we will rely on groundwater. You can probably see how this is quite the vicious cycle. But is there an answer? In order to understand that, we have to know what caused this quality issue.

 

Where do the contaminants come from?

Contaminants enter California’s water artificially – through heavy use of nitrogen-based fertilizers on farms – and naturally – through erosion of natural deposits.

Heavy reliance on nitrogen fertilizers (and animal waste) has led to increased levels of nitrates in the water. At levels above 10 ppm (parts per million), nitrates can impede the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, leading to birth defects and cancers of the ovaries and thyroid.

Agriculture alone isn’t the only source of contamination; arsenic – which is not used on farms – turned up more than nitrates. The study also found an alarming amount of aquifers poisoned with uranium, which is a contaminant not used in farms, but which has been pushed further into the water table (5-10 feet per year) by irrigation.

According to Kenneth Belitz, the study’s lead author and chief of the USGS’s National Water Quality Assessment Program, the process of contaminants slowly moving further down into the water table affects all areas of California.

Former agricultural areas that have evolved into suburban (Santa Ana, for example) will start to see the effects of years-old nitrates sinking into their water tables. Today’s farming hotspots – especially the San Joaquin Valley (where San Diego gets a portion of its water) – could be slowly building up nitrate levels year by year that could lead to much higher nitrate levels in well water.

 

How is the drought making it worse?

This heart-wrenching video from High Country News depicts how the drought is exacerbating the level of contaminants in California’s water. It shows the situation in East Orosi, one of the areas hit hardest by the drought.

Chad Fischer, East Orosi District Engineer, explains how landowners are digging a higher level of wells, putting more stress on the aquifers:

“It’s simple, drill a lot of wells, produce a lot of water. The water tables are going to drop and the level of contaminants is going to go up.”

As groundwater levels drop and the level of contaminants stays the same, the concentration of nitrates in groundwater supply will continue to increase.

Think of it as a small amount of poison that’s diluted by a large amount of water. The poison is relatively harmless as long as the water level stays high enough. But when the water level decreases, there’s not as much to dilute the poison, making it much more dangerous.

This issue is hitting areas of California at different times. East Orosi is getting the worst of it now. Residents use five-gallon plastic jugs for drinking, cleaning, brushing teeth, making tea and coffee, making soup and cleaning fruits and vegetables.

East Orosi’s situation serves as a stark warning to the rest of the state about the dangers of the drought on water quality. Hopefully it serves as a canary in the coal mine demonstrating that serious actions need to be taken for the health and safety of the people.

When will it end?

That’s the bad news. According to NASA Analysis, California’s aquifers are extremely depleted (by 11 trillion gallons, to be exact). Lower rainfall in the coming years and steady or increased farming will only continue to diminish these sources, therefore raising contaminant concentration.

As the drought continues, it’s imperative that California residents continue to monitor their local drinking water quality. Every municipality is required to send out a Water Quality Report (or CCR) annually, detailing local contaminant levels.

As always, the safest solution for your water’s safety is to install water filter systems in your home to ensure the highest quality clean water in your home regardless of outside circumstances. See your home water filter options HERE.

 

More information: Mother Jones on California’s Drinking Water

 

What’s the Difference Between Water Softeners & Water Conditioners?

whole home water conditioner softener

As a new homeowner, you’ll likely face a common question: do I need a water softener? After some research, you’ll likely come across some info about a similar piece of equipment called a water conditioner. The differences between the two can be confusing, but making the right choice can have a significant impact on you and your family’s health and your home’s appearance and value. 

Many areas across the country – especially Southern California – have “hard water,” which means your tap water has exceptionally high mineral content.

Hard water is not particularly unhealthy, but it’s capable of causing some costly problems for your home. The most costly issues include scaling, pipe blockage and even pipe leaks. 

Your Home’s Health

Scaling is the buildup of minerals to form a deposit called lime scale. Hard water mixed with soap forms nasty soap scum, which leaves a bathtub ring on your surfaces. 

hard vs soft water

The difference in scaling between a showerhead with hard water and soft water is obvious.

Excessive scaling can lead to clogged pipes, which decrease water flow rate to your faucets and showerheads and can even affect the life of toilet flushing units.

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A pipe clogged with hardness minerals.

Eventually, the scaling in your pipes will allow less water to flow through. Showerheads will dribble instead of spraying and faucets will deliver a weak stream of water. Buildup in your faucets can also lead to faulty shutoff mechanisms and dripping faucets.

The third costly effect of hard water is when dissolved minerals eat through pipes causing leaks and water damage in your home. It’s important to realize this potential issue early, because there are water pipes throughout your home and even a small hole can result in VERY costly damage.

hard water pipe damage

Pipe with a significant leak due to hard water.

 

Your Health and Happiness (and Sanity)

The effects of hard water are not limited to your home and plumbing fixtures; it can also affect your quality of life. Hard water requires more soap or detergent and water for showering and laundry.

åAdditionally, mixing soap and hard water on the body can cause what’s referred to as a “curd,” which can remain on the skin after rinsing, clogging pores. This serves as a breeding ground for bacteria, rashes and dry skin irritations.

Hard water also leads to mineral deposits in your hair, making it harder to untangle post-shower.

So What’s the Solution?

Now that you understand the multitude of issues surrounding hard water, let’s discuss the best way to get rid of hard water in your home. A water softener may be the more popular option, but I’m going to explain to you why a water conditioner is the better option for your home, your health and your wallet.

Water Softeners vs. Water Conditioners

Both water softeners and water conditioners solve the problems associated with hard water. The two are significantly different, though, in 3 main ways:

  1. Water Quality
  2. Simplicity
  3. Price

Water Quality

The biggest difference between water softeners and water conditioners is water quality. The reason is pretty simple: water softeners DO NOT filter your water and water conditioners do.

Water softeners use what’s called “ion exchange,” which swaps hardness mineral ions for sodium, reducing the water’s hardness. The problem is that softeners only focus on hardness, not contaminants such as chlorine and carcinogenic disinfectant byproducts like chloroform. 

Chlorine is generally the most noticeable contaminant in tap water (due to the large amount added in at a municipal level in order to disinfect water). It is also quite dangerous and damaging to your health and beauty. Chlorine can cause cancer over time when ingested and is notorious for drying out skin and hair. In addition to being dangerous to the body, chlorine can contribute to pinhole leaks in your pipes.

Without a conditioner, you will not be able to remove chlorine and other dangerous contaminants – you will simply have softer, dirty water.

Simplicity

As I mentioned above, water softeners use a process called “ion exchange,” which is about as complicated as it sounds. It requires electricity (which drives up cost of operation) and maintenance such as buying, hauling and adding salt periodically. In addition to being physically trying and time-consuming, adding salt also requires upwards of $200 per year.

Ion exchange is also not eco-friendly in any way. The process requires waste water to be expelled through a special drain. Research showed that this briny waste water was actually affecting area water supplies, leading to the recent ban of salt-based water softeners in cities such as San Diego and Los Angeles. That’s right: if you live in Southern California, you are likely outlawed from even purchasing a salt-based water softener.

Water conditioners do not use any electricity, saving your energy bill. They also create zero wastewater and require no maintenance aside from annual filter changes. Additionally, water conditioners use significantly less floor space in your garage and make no noise.

On an aesthetic level, conditioners produce water that mixes well with soaps and detergents, allowing you to use less of each, saving you even more money. Conditioned water also feels better in the shower, whereas softened water leaves a distinct “slippery” feel on the skin. 

Price

Of course, one of the most important aspects of any home improvement purchase is the price. What is it worth for you to have clean water and fortified investments in your kitchen and bathroom fixtures? Obviously, many companies will use this argument to justify ridiculously-priced items. But water conditioners are actually priced significantly below water softeners.

The Evolution Whole Home Water Conditioner starts at only $795, compared with softeners in the thousands of dollars, plus maintenance costs. Conditioners also save you from the electricity and water costs associated with a complicated softener. 

Most importantly, though, a Water Conditioner preserves the health of you and your family, as you can be sure the dangerous contaminants found increasingly in tap water supplies will be eradicated at the source. 

Call 619-356-3766 or email info@evolutionhealthworks.com today for more info about how a Water Conditioner can help improve your life and the value of your home!

What Are The Sources of Drinking Water Pollution?

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As I am sure everyone knows by now, out water is polluted. From inorganic and organic contaminants, to microbial contaminants, to even radioactive molecules….our water is polluted.

But where exactly are the sources of drinking water pollution?

Well theres two different categories of these sources.

First, naturally occurring sources of drinking water pollution

  • Microorganisms – These can come from the wildlife and soil runoff
  • Radionuclide – When underlying rock erodes
  • Nitrates and Nitrites – Nitrogen compounds in the soil runoff
  • Heavy metals – Underground rocks
  • Fluoride – Under ground rocks

 

Second, human caused sources of drinking water pollution

  • Bacteria and Nitrates – Human and animal waste
  • Heavy Metals – Mining, Construction, Agriculture
  • Fertilizers and Pesticides – Agriculture
  • Industrial Products and Waste – Manufacturing, Construction, Mining
  • Household Waste – Cleaning solvent, motor oil, paint
  • Lead and Copper – Household plumbing
  • Pharmaceuticals – Human and animal waste
  • Water Treatment Chemicals

 

As you can see, we are in a time of tons of different sources of water pollution.

Check out our Whole Home Filters to clean the water throughout your house, or our Drinking Water Filters to ensure your drinking water is as healthy as possible.

 

The Next Water Revolution

city water

Drinking water has evolved in three major shifts – or revolutions – over the past 2,000 years. Each of these revolutions either made water vastly more available or potable for a large number of people.

In his book, Water 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World’s Most Vital Resource, David Sedlak discusses the three water revolutions of the past 2,000 years as well as the next one – Water 4.0 – that needs to happen for the sake of societal health and safety.

The author explains that today, “continued population growth and climate change stretch the ability of urban water systems to meet our needs.” The process of devising and financing a solution will be anything but east, but Sedlak is confident there is a way. 

In today’s post, we’ll discuss Sedlak’s 3 water revolutions as well as the one we need to start planning for today.

Water 1.0

The Romans are known for a number of astonishing accomplishments, but one we don’t often hear about (maybe because it’s not sexy enough for a Hollywood blockbuster) is how the behemoth ancient civilization managed to provide anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million people with drinking water.

Ingenious Roman engineers devised a system of gravity-harnessing aqueducts to bring water into the city from surrounding rural areas. Not only did they build this solution to solve the issue of water shortage, but the Romans also built a sophisticated sewer system to handle runoff. This revolution paved the way for the expansion of civilization over the next 1,900 years.

Water 2.0

The boom of the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th century saw the emergence of water wheels and steam engines. This led to toilets and the vast amount of waste created as a result. Rather than disposing of waste in the fields, urban toilets sent human waste down the sewers, from where it entered bodies of water and traveled downstream to some less fortunate communities.

The corresponding rise in typhoid fever and cholera necessitated the need for another water revolution. This time, the engineers behind water’s advancement were from MIT. They formulated a system of filtering with sand, which surprisingly eliminated most disease from drinking water. Similar improvements used chlorine to further disinfect the water. Water 2.0 was born, effectively increasing the average American lifespan by 15 years.

Water 3.0

While the second water revolution allowed for drinking water to be treated, there still was not a widely available technology for treating wastewater. Thus, industrial centers and large municipalities simply disposed of sewage in rivers and lakes. Waterfront cities such as New York, Cleveland and Chicago reeked and fish died at an alarming rate.

In an ultimately successful effort to curb the expansion of water pollution across the country, the federal government passed the Clean Water Act in 1972. This landmark legislation allocated federal funds toward the construction of sewage treatment plants. Water 3.0 saved the health of The Great Lakes and numerous other bodies of water across the country.

Water 4.0?

Sedlak explains that we are now in need of a 4th water revolution, one that is likely going to be more complicated – and more expensive – than its precedents.

Many of the water utilities constructed 40-50 years ago are aged significantly. As with many societal problems, the roadblock in front of water reconstruction is cost. The growth of population has led to a consequential strain on water systems built for far fewer people.

In the Northeast, many cities have experienced raw sewage overflows when snow or rain fills treatment plants to their limits. The Southwest is experiencing a problem on the other side of the spectrum; areas such as Arizona and California are suffering from drought and water shortages.

The problem for both regions is that climate change models suggest that the areas experiencing overflow will only get wetter and the drought-stricken regions will only get drier.

Three areas in which Water 4.0 has already begun to take form are desalination, water recycling and decentralization.

Desalination – the process of treating seawater to make it potable – will be a significant, but not nearly a majority of San Diego’s water (7%) starting next year. Water recycling, in which wastewater is either treated to drinking water standards or at least to a level that it can be used for watering crops, is also popular in Southern California. Decentralization likely will be a prevalent technology across the country, especially given the amount of Americans living in suburbs. This practice would involve the construction of smaller water treatment facilities outside of the large ones in city centers.

Sedlak says that Water 4.0 will happen one way or another, the only question is whether we will be proactive in preparing our water systems. The sad truth is that more often, civilizations wait for catastrophe to allocate the necessary funds for water system improvements.

 

 

 

 

Why is San Diego’s Tap Water So Bad?

san diego water

If you didn’t already know (and if you live here, you know) San Diego has some very subpar tap water. In fact, it has some of the worst tap water in the country, according to a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). It’s a shame that such a beautiful city nestled up to a pristine blue ocean has tainted drinking water.

It’s easy to complain about the water here, but it’s also important to understand why the water quality is so poor and the effects it can have on our health and well-being.

This information is pertinent for many people outside of San Diego, too. There have been a number of incidents in the past year compromising drinking water supplies across the country.

Why San Diego?

With the ocean down the street, it’s easy to forget that San Diego is actually in a desert. If you know one thing about deserts, it’s that there is very little water. We’re still some time away from desalination plants (like the one in construction in Carlsbad) being a significant source of drinking water. Thus, we get our water from thousands of miles away.

Our two main sources are the Colorado River and the California State Water Project in Northern California. There are a number of issues with each of these sources.

The Colorado River provides the majority (60%) of San Diego’s water. It runs through canyons and rocks which deposit volatile organic chemicals.

20% of San Diego’s water comes from the California Water Project in Northern California, the hotbed of agriculture for the whole country. The problem with this is the vast amount of fertilizers used on these farms. Fertilizers contain nitrates and nitrites, which make their way into the water table and into our tap water.

These problems aren’t unique to San Diego, though. A five-year study by the EPA found more than 300 contaminants in tap water across California. And worse, California water authorities were cited for 5,514 federal and state violations over that five-year period.

 

What are the effects of contaminated tap water?

Everything. Pollutants in your tap water are just as bad as they sound.

Below are some of the worst offenders present in San Diego’s water along with their health effects.

  • Arsenic – Skin damage, circulatory problems, increased risk of cancer
  • Asbestos (from the cement in water mains) – Increased risk of cancer and intestinal polyps
  • Lead – Impaired mental and physical development in children, attention and learning deficits, high blood pressure
  • Nitrates/Nitrites – Oxygen distribution problems, Blue Baby Syndrome

What can we do?

It’s easy to be alarmed at the quality of our tap water, but it’s important to take steps toward making it safer. The government is too strapped for cash and too slow-moving to take the initiative, so it’s up to us to manage our own water.

1. Contact your county health department for a report on your local water quality and to learn about any recent violations.

2. Read our guide to Comparing Water Filters to understand the different options you have for getting clean, healthy water in your home.

3. Call 619-356-3766 to speak with a water expert about how you can get the Certified Healthiest Water in your home today.

Toledo’s water crisis: Why we haven’t seen the end of it

Toledo Water Problems

Toledo, Ohio’s weekend-long drinking water scare came to an end this morning, but this Midwestern city’s water woes are far from over.

The buzz word in Toledo over the weekend was microcystin, referring to a deadly toxin found in blue-green algae blooms. Dangerous levels of the substance in Toledo’s drinking water led to a advisory against drinking, brushing teeth or bathing in city water.

While death is rare in connection with the toxin, it did cause 75 deaths in Brazil in 1995. Microcystin can also cause liver malfunction, diarrhea and vomiting.

This weekend’s scare was a result of widespread algal blooms in the Maumee Bay area of Lake Erie, Toledo’s main water source. The blooms are not, however, the result of a natural disaster; Toledo’s water crisis is the first of what will likely be many man-made water crises related to unnatural growth in Lake Erie.

The culprit

Algal blooms occur as a result of an inordinate amount of fertilizer flowing into Lake Erie from farms on the watershed.

86% of the fertilizer used on farms in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan is in the form of phosphorus-packed pellets.

The use of fertilizer isn’t necessarily dangerous on its own, but a popular agricultural practice in the Lake Erie region called no-till farming can have some stark unintended consequences.

In order to prevent erosion, farmers avoid plowing their fields, leaving fertilizer pellets on the surface, ready to be washed away. This is where nature comes in. Heavy rains easily wash away about 1 pound per acre of fertilizer into the Maumee River, which feeds into Maumee Bay.

Just as phosphorus is intended to fuel crop growth, it feeds algae in Lake Erie, leading to toxic algal blooms.

A recurring problem

Algal blooms are nothing new in Lake Erie. In the 1960s, rampant agricultural and industrial pollution – to the tune of 64 million pounds of phosphorus per year – fed algal blooms.

In addition to contaminating Toledo’s water supply, the growth led to seriously damaged marine life, a pressure point thanks to the multi-billion dollar Lake Erie tourism industry. U.S. and Canada officials teamed up and spent $8 billion on sewage plant upgrades and cut the amount of phosphates allowed in household products.

It seems obvious that this sixth straight year of increasingly widespread algal blooms necessitates some governmental intervention similar to that seen in the 70s and 80s.

algae_bloom chart

Today, a financial commitment of this stature (which, we might add, would be significantly higher considering inflation) would require much more than Toledo opening her pocket book. Farmers in Ohio as well as Indiana and Michigan (who share the same watershed), would have to commit to cutting fertilizer use or finding an alternative to no-till farming that would also not contribute to erosion. This is a highly unlikely outcome unless officials agree to compensate the farmers who will have to make significant changes to their practices.

In fewer words, don’t expect a solution any time soon.

This is not the end

Lake Erie’s science-fiction-style neon green takeover this past weekend is unfortunately going to be a familiar scene in lakes across the globe. A 2012 report suggested that algal blooms will be “one of the most serious health risks of the 21st century,” appearing in China, Japan, Brazil and Australia. In the US alone, more than 40,000 large lakes may contain microcystin.

Toledo Water Problems

 

 

 

 

With the rising importance of providing food for a booming population and an extreme water shortage hitting America’s largest agriculture-producing state, we can only expect use of phosphorus-laden fertilizers to continue.

Rising temperatures have lead to more frequent and volatile storms, carrying an increasing amount of phosphorus into water sources. Toxic algae blooms thrive in higher temperatures.

The problem is complicated further by foreign species such as Lake Erie’s zebra mussels, which eat non-toxic competitors to blue-green algae and excrete more phosphorus for the toxic algae to feast on.

Lesson learned

The recurring theme every time a water crisis arises as a result of preventable human actions is that it is the citizen’s responsibility to care for his or her own water.

While a municipality’s first interest should always be its own people, we see time and again that political complications often take the front seat. This current crisis will likely be relegated to the back burner until elections have passed.

In the mean time, we recommend writing your local representative and ask about what your municipality is doing to avoid the oncoming dangers of algal blooms. Also, consider a drinking water system to protect yourself and your family from future water crises.

 

Live near a farm? You might want to read this

nitrates fertilizer contaminated water

 

Do you live close to a farm? If so, you will want to see the results of a recent University of Minnesota study that found the rate of groundwater contamination rising at an alarming rate.

Researchers indicated that nitrate levels in drinking water are skyrocketing. Nitrates are very dangerous and can cause severe illness and death when consumed above contaminant levels. 

The University of Minnesota study explained that not only are nitrate levels already high, but they will increase 45% in the coming years. This is because farm subsidies from the government are allowing farmers to finance the expensive process of wetland conversion.

In simpler terms, the government is using our tax dollars to pay for farmers to begin spreading nitrate-packed fertilizer over groundwater sources. Not only is this costing you money, but it will also begin to cost you your health if you don’t take measures to protect yourself and your family from the coming onslaught of nitrates.

Congress has the ability to pass an appropriations bill that would protect over 1 million acres of land from further nitrate-pollution. Since they’ve proved themselves less than trustworthy, your best option is taking matters into your hands.

Even if you don’t live directly next to a farm, your water could come from an area with significant agriculture pollution. Research your local water utility and see where your tap water comes from. This is especially important in major farming states such as California, where farmers have free reign to fertilize as they wish due to high demand for their crops during this historic drought.

Since it’s highly unlikely that the government will cut back on farm subsidies or move forward with conservation measures, it’s imperative that you take matters into your own hands and personally filter your tap water. Evolution Healthworks offers a comprehensive line of filtration systems that will remove nitrates and 99.9% of other toxic pollutants from your water.

 


More on this topic from the Environmental Working Group (EWG)

4 Factors Affecting The Taste Of Your Tap Water

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Most people think of water as being a pretty tasteless liquid, however, your tap water can vary greatly state by state, and even in some cases, city by city. Many home owners have chosen to install WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS to improve both the taste of their water and remove the contaminants.

4 common factors that affect tap water taste

  1. Disinfectant chemicals. One of the most common complaints homeowners have about their tap water is that it tastes like chemicals. The reason for this taste, is that water treatment facilities use chlorine or chloramine (a mixture of chlorine and ammonia) among other chemicals, to disinfect water before it’s sent to our homes and flows through our pipes.
  2. Mineral leaching from pipes. Another common complaint about tap water is that it tastes metallic. This is often due to minerals like iron and copper that leach into our water as it travels through public pipes and/or the pipes in our homes. The severity and type of metallic taste in your water will depend on the age and condition of the pipes it travels through as well as the material that those pipes are made of. The infrastructure of the water piping is in serious needs of updates around the country, and in some cases water is flowing through pipes that pre date World War II.
  3. Algae blooms. Algae blooms in source water like lakes and rivers are typically seasonal. When they occur, homeowners are often taken off-guard by the sudden change in tap water taste. The taste imparted in tap water by algae blooms is often described as earthy or musty. This was seen in May of 2014, as the water in North San Diego county was affected by the algal blooms in Poway.
  4. Source of water. The taste of your tap water can change depending on where the water originally comes from. This taste difference is most recognizable between well water and city water, because well water often contains many more minerals that can affect its taste.

 

California Shuts Down Wastewater Injection Wells Over Water Contamination Fears

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There are many environmental concerns connected to the proliferation of domestic gas and oil drilling. One specific concern is the spread of chemicals used in the drilling process into drinking water aquifers.

California has taken notice and shut down the activities of gas and oil companies aquifers in Central Valley over fears that they may have contaminated aquifers with fracking fluids and other toxic waste from drilling operations. The state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources earlier this month ordered seven energy companies to stop injecting wastewater in certain wells, claiming that the practice “poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources.”

ProPublica has the full scoop:

The problem is that at least 100 of the state’s aquifers were presumed to be useless for drinking and farming because the water was either of poor quality, or too deep underground to easily access. Years ago, the state exempted them from environmental protection and allowed the oil and gas industry to intentionally pollute them. But not all aquifers are exempted, and the system amounts to a patchwork of protected and unprotected water resources deep underground. Now, according to the cease and desist orders issued by the state, it appears that at least seven injection wells are likely pumping waste into fresh water aquifers protected by the law, and not other aquifers sacrificed by the state long ago.

“The aquifers in question with respect to the orders that have been issued are not exempt,” said Ed Wilson, a spokesperson for the California Department of Conservation in an email.

A 2012 ProPublica investigation of more than 700,000 injection wells across the country found that wells were often poorly regulated and experienced high rates of failure, outcomes that were likely polluting underground water supplies that are supposed to be protected by federal law. That investigation also disclosed a little-known program overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that exempted more than 1,000 other drinking water aquifers from any sort of pollution protection at all, many of them in California.

Those are the aquifers at issue today. The exempted aquifers, according to documents the state filed with the U.S. EPA in 1981 and obtained by ProPublica, were poorly defined and ambiguously outlined. They were often identified by hand-drawn lines on a map, making it difficult to know today exactly which bodies of water were supposed to be protected, and by which aspects of the governing laws. Those exemptions and documents were signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown, who also was governor in 1981.

State officials emphasized to ProPublica that they will now order water testing and monitoring at the injection well sites in question. To date, they said, they have not yet found any of the more regulated aquifers to have been contaminated.

We at Evolution Healthworks understand that there’s a growing problem with water contamination across the country. Check out our solutions to ensure you and your loved ones are getting the healthiest water.