The Orange County Register reports that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which provides water to 18 million people, remained silent about uranium contamination in water at the Hayfield Groundwater Storage site.
While Hayfield water has not yet entered the agency’s water system, some officials at the agency have known about the contamination since 2000, and they’re still planning to use the water.
Uranium contamination of water is dangerous not because of radioactivity but because it is a heavy metal. It’s toxic to the kidneys and can cause tissue death. The Environmental Protection Agency states that 20 picocuries per liter is a safe level of uranium in water (and California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment places the limit at 0.43 picocuries for drinking water. Water at the Hayfield site had contamination as high as high as 35 picocuries per liter.
The head of the water agency suggests that the uranium contamination was not a big deal because they plan to dilute the contaminated water with cleaner water from the Colorado River. Others feel that the agency should have informed the public about the contamination.
“I would expect a higher level of truth,” said Elden Hughes of the Sierra Club. “They should have been more forthright.”
Unfortunately, as this story illustrates, you cannot always rely on the bureaucrats at various agencies to protect you from contaminated water. Install a water filter in your home today to protect your family.