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Water Deeply is designed to help you understand the complex web of environmental, social and economic issues related to water in California. Our editors and expert contributors are working around the clock to bring you greater clarity and comprehensive coverage of the state's water issues.

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Toxic Taps

Video: Toxic Taps: Why Small California Communities Face Unsafe Water

In the first video of our “Toxic Taps” series, we hear from the people who are running small water systems in the San Joaquin Valley and the challenges they face treating contaminated water with limited resources.

Written by Tara Lohan Published on Read time Approx. 0 minutes

“We have third-world conditions as it relates to drinking water,” says Susana De Anda, co-founder and co-executive director of the Community Water Center, headquartered in the San Joaquin Valley.

There are about 300 communities in California whose drinking water violates health standards, according to the State Water Resources Control Board. And residents of rural, low-income communities in the valley face some of the worst water quality problems, as small and underfunded water systems struggle with contaminated groundwater.

Their drinking water is chronically contaminated with arsenic, nitrate, 1,2,3-trichloropropane and other toxins, which can takes millions of dollars to safely treat – money many communities don’t have.

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