Warner Springs - Arsenic Levels Rising
Last updated 9/16/2016 at 3:53pm
According to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Warner Unified School District is one of 95 water systems in California with arsenic levels that exceed the states recommended threshold. Despite receiving a notice of noncompliance by the EPA in 2013, state records indicate that in 2014 and 2015, 55,985 people in 95 communities across the state received tap water with arsenic that averaged above federal standards. Over 80 percent of these residents in 70 communities had excessive levels of the carcinogen in their tap water for at least five years.
Over the last three years, the state has more than doubled its funding to build water treatment plants, pipelines, and new wells. Despite this, the report states that Warner Springs had arsenic levels at 11.4 parts per billion, leaving it slightly above the state limit of 10 parts per billion, the report said.
Arsenic increases the risk of lung, kidney and bladder cancer and cardiovascular disease, and may also impair developing brains of children.
The district has received a grant for $183,000 from the state emergency drinking water fund in order to help costs for bottled water through to 2018. Warner Springs school officials are also requesting state grants to identify why arsenic levels are rising, and to find a long-term solution.