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Drinking Water

Uninvited visitors have wormed their way into Hawthorne's kitchens and bathrooms. A minor infestation of bloodworms--larvae of the gnat-like midge--is forcing the city to purge its municipal water system, which serves about half of Hawthorne's 12,000 households and businesses. The scarlet creatures, although unnerving to residents who have been finding them in their water glasses and bathtubs since last week, do not pose a health hazard, officials say.
March 18, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
Thanks to February storms, state officials are slightly easing drought restrictions on water deliveries, but the changes won't make a difference to most of the state. The prime beneficiaries will be Central Valley irrigation districts with the most senior water rights. Although last month's above average rainfall in Northern California improved the water supply picture somewhat, officials Tuesday continued to predict that the big state and federal water projects that help supply a majority of Californians will deliver little or no water to most agricultural and urban agencies this year.
July 24, 2013 | By Emily Foxhall
After threatening to cut off funding to California earlier this spring because the state had been so slow to improve its drinking water , the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the state's revised spending plan. “I think as a result of this process, Californians can be more assured that their infrastructure needs are being met,” said EPA regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld. In April, the EPA issued a noncompliance warning to the California Department of Public Health, amid complaints that funds were not being distributed promptly or efficiently.
March 13, 2014 | By Susan Denley
Pharrell Williams is collaborating with Comme des Garcons on a unisex scent called Girl, named for his latest album. It's scheduled to go on sale in September. [Cut] Singer-dancer Paula Abdul, actress Jane Seymour (a former ballerina) and publisher Lori Milken are to be honored at the Los Angeles Ballet Gala on April 12, Ellen Olivier at Society News LA reports. Bethann Hardison, the former model who founded the Diversity Coalition to push designers to cast racially and ethnically diverse models on the runways, is to be honored with the Council of Fashion Designers of America Founders' Award on June 2. [Cut]
October 5, 2001
State Sen. Sheila Kuehl's bill on requiring developers to guarantee water to residents of big developments is good (editorial, Oct. 1). But we apparently need much more than this, considering your Aug. 14 article saying one in three people on the planet will not have adequate drinking water in as little as 25 years. We need leadership and people with vision, right now. Our leaders need to educate citizens about how vital it is to start conserving, start planning, start trying to figure out ways of providing water to the world population.
January 23, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Old rovers can indeed learn new tricks. Rolling into its 10th anniversary on the Red Planet, Opportunity has discovered clay minerals showing that life-friendly water flowed on Mars in the earliest epoch of its history. The findings indicate that Curiosity's groundbreaking discovery last year of clays capable of hosting microbes like those on Earth was no fluke, experts said. “We've basically found strong evidence for clays on both sides of the planet,” said Cornell University planetary scientist Steve Squyres, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover program and coauthor of a report published in Friday's edition of the journal Science.
March 27, 2001
Re "EPA Revokes New Arsenic Standards for Drinking Water," March 21: The new EPA standard for arsenic in drinking water of 10 parts per billion (ppb) was a solution in search of a problem that, even if proven, is too marginal to justify its exorbitant expense. The National Academy of Sciences 1999 report stated that epidemiological studies of arsenic and cancer all involve levels of at least several hundred ppb, and no study exists that shows arsenic at the old EPA standard of 50 ppb causes cancer or any other disease.
March 10, 1988
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is beginning distribution of brochures summaries the quality of the drinking water it sells. Summaries will be included with bills by service area; the sample report below reflects service area A in West Los Angeles and in the San Fernando Valley. The DWP tests for numerous substances on a periodic schedule; state and federal regulations control the amount of chemicals allowed in drinking water.
April 17, 2008 | Janet Wilson
State health officials are examining records and talking with Riverside County officials about testing done at a well next to a Crestmore Heights cement plant where regulators have discovered high levels of a cancer-causing toxin called hexavalent chromium. Area residents have used the well for drinking water for decades, and officials are now investigating where the residents now obtain their water. "We're taking this very seriously," said Ken August, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Health.
August 27, 2000
Re "Hayden Urges Faster Action on Health Threat," Aug. 22. I am amazed at the Department of Health Services' statement that any action to reduce the amount of chromium 6 in Los Angeles' drinking water would be economically devastating. Devastating to whom? To the Los Angeles citizens who will suffer miscarriages and stillbirths, multiple tumors, deaths and the rest of the horrible list of conditions known to be caused by traces of chromium 6. If Department of Health Services feels it needs more test data, it should look at what PG&E [Pacific Gas & Electric Co.]
February 27, 2014 | By Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - A $687.4-million emergency drought relief package is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk after easily clearing the Legislature on Thursday. Brown and legislative leaders unveiled the proposal last week to free up the state's water supplies and aid residents who face hardship due to the drought. "Today we provide significant relief," state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said in a floor speech. "This is a lot of money and will help thousands of California families dealing with the drought.
February 24, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
A portion of the lower Mississippi River reopened Monday after a weekend oil spill, but another stretch remained closed, leaving 29 ships stuck, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials. Officials had closed a 65-mile stretch of the river and the port of New Orleans after 31,500 gallons of light crude oil spilled from a barge that ran into a towboat Saturday about 50 miles west of New Orleans. On Monday, officials reopened a portion of the river east of the spill to vessels with Coast Guard approval.
February 20, 2014 | By Anthony York
A proposed $687.4-million drought-relief package unveiled Wednesday was met with mixed reactions, with one state Republican leader calling it a "drop in the bucket. " The proposal, presented by Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders, aims to clean up drinking water, improve conservation and make irrigation systems more efficient. It also contains money to replenish groundwater supplies, and for state and local agencies to clear brush in drought-stricken areas that pose a high fire risk.
February 12, 2014 | By Anthony York
TULARE -- Gov. Jerry Brown came to this town halfway between Fresno and Bakersfield on Wednesday to briefly tour the World Ag Expo and continue his unofficial reelection bid in the heart of Republican California. The visit marked the governor's second public swing through the Central Valley this year, and on Friday, he will join President Obama in Fresno to meet with agriculture leaders and discuss the state's drought, which has become the latest source of partisan tension in Washington.
February 6, 2014 | By David Zucchino
EDEN, N.C. - An environmental group Thursday challenged Duke Energy's assurances that drinking water from the Dan River in North Carolina and Virginia remained safe despite a massive spill of toxic coal ash that released a deluge of murky gray sludge into the river Sunday. The Waterkeeper Alliance said its tests of water collected just yards from the spill site here showed dangerous level of toxins, including arsenic, chromium, lead, iron and other heavy metals. Arsenic levels in the samples were 35 times higher than the maximum containment level set by the Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water, the group said.
February 4, 2014 | By David Zucchino
Tens of thousands of tons of coal ash have spilled into the Dan River from a closed North Carolina coal plant since Sunday, but drinking water supplies have not been affected, according to municipal officials and the plant's owner, Duke Energy. Between 50,000 and 82,000 tons of ash have poured into the Dan River, which flows between North Carolina and Virginia, Duke Energy said. Corporate officials, who blamed a broken storm water pipe, said Tuesday that the utility was still working to stop the leak at the Dan River Steam Station in Eden, N.C. About 24 to 27 million gallons of basin water from a 27-acre coal ash reservoir at the retired plant also spilled into the river, Duke Energy said in a statement.
Perchlorate, a hazardous legacy of California's defense industry, must be regulated in drinking water by 2004 under a new law announced Sunday by Gov. Gray Davis. No state or federal standard now exists for perchlorate, a byproduct of rocket fuel that can cause thyroid problems in humans. The presence of perchlorate has forced the shutdown of wells in the San Gabriel Valley and Rancho Cordova, east of Sacramento, where defense contractors once tested rockets.
February 3, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
As California's drought continues, and more than a dozen rural communities ponder what to do when their drinking water runs out sometime in March, it would be nice if the state's Republican politicians brought some straightforward plans for relief to the table. But what many of them are bringing instead is a tired political tactic barely, and laughably, disguised as a remedy for the lack of rainfall. The "man-made California drought" is the term House Republicans use to describe the state's current dry condition, as if it were somehow the hand of humankind, environmentalists or, even worse, Democrats that has stopped the snowfall over the Sierra and kept the dams that store water for fields, orchards and homes from being replenished.
January 29, 2014 | By David Zucchino, This post has been updated and corrected, as indicated below.
First, federal regulators couldn't explain the possible health dangers posed by the mysterious coal-cleansing chemical that spilled into West Virginia's drinking water -- except that pregnant woman shouldn't drink it even after the water had been declared safe for everyone else. Then the chemical company responsible for the spill belatedly admitted a second, equally unpronounceable chemical containing ether also had been dumped into the water. Now comes this warning for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians: They may be inhaling formaldehyde while showering in the tainted water, which was declared safe for human consumption a week after the Jan. 9 spill into the Elk River just north of downtown Charleston.
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