After campground hosting in Central Coast California public parks for four years and often finding them to have bad drinking water, I found a December 17, 2014 Desert Sun article on California’s drinking water to be informative and hopeful.

The article states that “Across California, the water that comes out of the taps in many mobile home parks and other small rural communities often doesn’t meet safe drinking water standards. Some wells are contaminated with arsenic, nitrates or other hazardous contaminants.” Personally, we had experienced firsthand in public parks with coliform E Coli bacteria, arsenic and heavy metals.

The California State Water Resources Control Board has drafted the first plan since 1993 to address those problems. The 271-page draft plan Safe Drinking Water Plan for California acknowledges poor water sources, the high cost of fixing the problems and other challenges to safe drinking water. The state water board held public workshops in Coachella (Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage among other cities near Palm Springs) California recently to present the plan and receive comments.

Evidently, according to the article, “Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency publicly criticized California for failing to spend $455 million in federal money that had been provided for drinking water projects.”

In campground where wells were contaminated, we bought drinking water in jugs, the same as many townspeople in the areas where we were did. By-products of agriculture were often the culprits that contaminated water supplies in Central Coast California parks. Some of the proposed fixes for problems of poor drinking water include building new wells and providing infiltration systems for homes and mobile home parks.

According to the State Water Control Board website “The Safe Drinking Water Plan for California includes the State Water Board’s assessment of the overall quality of the state’s drinking water, the identification of specific water quality problems, an analysis of the known and potential health risks that may be associated with drinking water contamination in California, and specific recommendations to improve drinking water quality.”

The State Water Resources Control Board plans to submit a final drinking water plan to the Legislature in June 2015. To give comments to the Board or to learn more about the issue, go to the State Water Control Board website.

I would recommend though if you plan to camp in California parks, you definitely use water that you filter yourself or buy filtered filtered drinking water in jugs so that you can fully enjoy all the beauty and wonderful activities the parks offer.

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