No Clear Solution for Dirty Water

by wfnblog on December 6, 2012

When looking at lush landscapes filled with orchards and dairy farms, you may never imagine the tap water is undrinkable. Unfortunately, the people of Seville and Tooleville, California live with this every day.   Those lush orchards and dairy farms cause many of the drinking water problems in the area. Pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and animal […]

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What are VOCs? (Part 2)

by wfnblog on June 6, 2012

In our last article, we introduced the topic of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We described their chemical composition, and gave some examples of common household, commercial and industrial products that contain VOCs. We concluded with a look at how these chemical contaminants find their way into the environment, and specifically into our drinking water supply. […]


What are VOCs? (Part 1)

by wfnblog on June 4, 2012

Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) are carbon-containing compounds emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. They evaporate easily from water into air at normal air temperatures. This high vapor pressure (and low boiling point) at room temperature is why you can easily detect the distinctive odor of gasoline and many solvents, as the VOCs exit […]


This month or next, you should be receiving your local drinking water quality report from your water supplier. If you live in town, and don’t have a private well, your municipal provider is required by law to provide to every household a copy of this “consumer confidence report.” Along with other information, the report lists […]


What is MTBE?

by wfnblog on May 10, 2012

MTBE is the shorthand abbreviation for methyl tertiary-butyl ether, a volatile organic compound that belongs to a category known as oxygenates. Oxygenates are added to fuel to increase its oxygen content. MTBE has replaced the use of lead as an octane enhancer in gasoline throughout the United States since 1979. MTBE reduces carbon monoxide and […]


What is arsenic?

by wfnblog on May 4, 2012

Atomic number 33 on the periodic table, arsenic is a semi-metal element that is odorless and tasteless. It enters drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth, as well as from agricultural and industrial activities. Arsenic occurs naturally in rocks and soil, plants and animals. It can be further released into the environment through volcanic […]


What is nitrate?

by wfnblog on April 30, 2012

Nitrates and nitrites are nitrogen-oxygen chemical units which combine with various organic and inorganic compounds. Nitrate is a compound that is formed naturally when nitrogen combines with oxygen or ozone. Nitrogen itself is essential for all living things, but high levels of nitrate in drinking water can be dangerous to human health, especially for infants […]


What is chromium?

by wfnblog on April 27, 2012

Number 24 on the periodic table, chromium is an odorless and tasteless metallic element. It is found naturally occurring in rocks, soil and volcanic dust, as well as in living plants, animals and humans. The most common forms of chromium that occur in natural sources of drinking water are trivalent chromium (chromium-3) and hexavalent chromium […]


March 22nd is World Water Day, a day set apart to raise much-needed attention to the essential human need for accessible, clean water. World Water Day is a time for advocacy concerning our most vital resource: water. The global reach of the day is a reminder that our freshwater resources can only be sustained through […]


Everyday household activities are a major source of polluted runoff, seriously jeopardizing our groundwater. Every time it rains, extra fertilizer on lawns, oil spilled on driveways, residue from paints and solvents used on walls and decks all end up contaminating our waterways as chemicals.  Even the neighborhood’s pet population can contribute to the problem, when […]