FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. --
The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) released a final project report Wednesday, that claims traces of medicines, pesticides, plastics and even flame retardant were present in the three major drinking water sources that serve over 25 million people in southern California. The three water sources include the State Water Project, Colorado River, and Santa Ana River. The organization says the research team took water samples from the three water sources at 32 locations, ranging from upstream of Sacramento to down south in Orange County, as well as from locations along the Colorado River in Arizona and Nevada. Sampling took place between April 2008 and April 2009.
While the amounts are far below any threshold that would raise health concerns, Institute officials say they could support efforts toward new water-quality regulations in years to come to control even the smallest levels of contaminants. The organization noted the levels found in the study were typically equal to one drop in 20 Olympic-sized pools.
"The idea behind the study is to begin to get a handle on a matter of growing concern: drugs as well as substances known as endocrine disruptors found in drinking-water, which could, in far larger quantities, have potentially severe effects," said Jeffrey J. Mosher, executive director of the National Water Research Institute.