Water contamination occurs when the groundwater below the soil’s surface and above a layer of rock is contaminated through the illegal dumping of chemicals, saline, or carcinogens into the ground, which can affect the health of thousands of people drinking and using the contaminated water.
Groundwater is a major source of California’s drinking water supply, particularly during dry years. In addition to human consumption, it is used for crop irrigation, industrial cooling and rinsing, and it replenishes rivers, wetlands, and streams that support wildlife. As California faces prolonged periods of drought, the groundwater supply is essential for meeting California’s water needs.
Our water can be contaminated from sources such as industrial chemical disposal, groundwater pumping and injection, agricultural runoff, road salt, toxic chemical spills, leaking fuel tanks, and improper disposal of waste.