Nearly a million Californians could face long-term health issues due to unsafe drinking water, audit saysNearly 1 million Californians are livin...Nearly a million Californians could face long-term health issues due to unsafe drinking water, audit says
Nearly 1 million Californians are living with contaminated drinking water that’s considered harmful to human health, and the state’s auditor is raising alarm bells over the water systems in hopes to spur urgent changes.
Michael S. Tilden, California’s acting state auditor, issued an audit report this week addressed to the state’s top leadership, including Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). It identified more than 370 failing water systems across the state that provide drinking water to more than 920,000 people. More than two-thirds of the failing water systems are in disadvantaged communities.
The audit report also said there are hundreds of additional water systems currently at risk of failing.
California’s State Water Resources Control Board works to implement and enforce federal and state Safe Drinking Water Acts, which includes enforcing maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for more than 100 substances that are harmful to human health.
If any water system exceeds any of the MCLs they must notify consumers with an explanation of the contaminant and its potential health effects, the steps being taken to correct the violation and where alternative water supplies should be used.