The Environmental Protection Agency shows pollution in California's waters has gone up 170%.
The EPA tested 3 million acres of water, including lakes, rivers and wetlands. There are several major pollutants that have caused this spike. Areas that have bacteria levels unsafe for swimmers have gone up 90%. Waters that are contaminated by trash have jumped 76%. Pesticides that taint the waterways increased 36%. Mercury levels have risen 24% in the waters, directly affecting the fish who swim in them.
Researchers say this report is a good wake up call to continue to monitor the waters for the safety of the state, and the next step is developing clean up plans.
KRCR News Channel 7 spoke to the Shasta County Water Agency to see how this affects people in the Northstate. Experts say that fortunately the waters above Sacramento are not at a threatening level of pollution, compared to the rest of the state.
Supervising Engineer Eric Wedemeyer who works for the Shasta County Water Agency says the reason our waters is safer is because, ?We're high in the water shed, access to lots of water and good quality so even though some are on the list of impaired water bodies, dilution is the solution to our pollution. Lots of water going around pollutants is going to be very low.?
The Northstate?s water agency recommends people to buy bottled water or use a house filtration system if they are concerned with the drinking quality, but say it is nothing to be worried about.
For more on the water study, visit their website for The Increased Polluted Water Levels