The California Department of Health Services (DHS) recently issued a report that presents an overview of the results of public drinking water supply monitoring from 1984 through 2000. It breaks down how often and where the state's maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) were exceeded during this time period. Los Angeles County had the most exceedances (1,148 total) in terms of total MCLs, as well as for inorganic and organic MCLs. Kern County had the most radiological MCL exceedances, and Fresno County had the greatest number of pesticide exceedances. The data presented is in terms of first-time analyses, first-time detections and first-time MCL exceedances.
DHS says the monitoring can provide indications about natural, industrial and agricultural chemicals that have in the past led to contamination of drinking water supplies. This information also can help identify possible contaminating activities and contaminants that may be of concern in the future. For complete results, visit the DHS Web site at www.dhs.ca.gov/ps/ddwem.