Community Water Center

Community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy

Toxic Water: Logan's Story

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Meet Logan. He lives in Monson, CA with his mother Misty and two siblings, including a baby brother. 

For years, they could not safely drink or cook with the water from their tap without risk of serious health issues because their well is contaminated by nitrates. Ingestion of nitrate-contaminated water is extremely harmful to human health and has been linked to methemoglobinemia, or “Baby Blue Syndrome,” and a range of serious gastrointestinal and endocrine system illnesses.

Community Water Center, together with local Rotary Clubs, installed 29 Point of Use filters in Monson. Logan and his family installed one in their home under the kitchen sink, which they now use every day to provide safe drinking water on an interim basis. After outreach and community workshops by CWC, Logan's mom, Misty, tested her water and found out that it had high levels of nitrates. Armed with information on what was in her water, Logan's family not only was able to get the appropriate filter to access safe water on an interim basis, but also joined the fight for a long-term solution for their family and community. Today Logan's family and others in Monson are working with a neighboring community to evaluate a range of options for connecting to a centralized water system.

Logan and his community are not alone. Over a quarter of a million people in California are served water from wells contaminated by nitrates. A recent study by UC Davis estimates that if nothing is done to prevent it, by 2050, nearly 80 percent of the residents in the Tulare and Salinas regions will be impacted by nitrates. Nitrate contamination in local groundwater supplies is almost entirely due to decades of intensive fertilizer application and leaching of animal manure from the many mega-dairies in the region. In some localized areas, inadequate sewer treatment or septic systems can also be a source of contamination.

CWC, along with community members like Logan's mom, Misty, is continuing to work towards a long-term solution through community empowerment and advocacy. To learn more about our long-term solutions work, see HERE.

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