This week, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a report titled Erin Brockovich Carcinogen in Tap Water of More Than 200 million Americans.

The nonprofit organization’s study analyzed chromium-6 sampling data collected by water systems throughout the U.S. between 2013 and 2015, and found that approximately 75 percent of the samples tested contained chromium-6 at levels at or above California’s Public Health Goal (PHG) of 0.02 parts per billion.

It is important to note that the State of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment sets the Public Health Goal for known carcinogens such as chromium-6,  “At a level that not more than one person in a population of one million people drinking the water daily for 70 years would be expected to develop cancer as a result of exposure to that chemical.”

A Public Health Goal is not a boundary line between a “safe” and “dangerous” level of a chemical, and drinking water is frequently demonstrated as safe to drink even if it contains chemicals at levels exceeding their Public Health Goals. Learn more about Public Health Goals.

Helix monitors for chromium-6 annually. Our most recent test results were 0.021 parts per billion. Our 2014 test results ranged from Non Detected (ND) to 0.049 parts per billion.

Chromium-6 is a heavy metal. It occurs naturally in California’s rock and soil and can enter the water supply through erosion. It can also leach into groundwater from industrial sites. Chromium-6 is used in textile dyes, wood preservation, leather tanning and anti-corrosion coatings.


Association of California Water Agencies Chromium-6 FAQs

State Water Resources Control Board Fact Sheet

Produce a video and win a $2,000 scholarship

Produce a video and win a $2,000 scholarship

The California Special Districts Association (CSDA) is hosting a video competition as part of its “Districts Make the Difference” public outreach campaign for all California high school and college students.

In an effort to increase the understanding and awareness of special districts, students are encouraged to learn more about special districts and enter the contest by creating a 60-second video.

Submissions will be accepted until October 31, 2016 at which point five finalists will be selected and featured on the Districts Make the Difference website for statewide voting.

Starting November 1, the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite video and the top three winners will receive scholarship prizes. First place will receive $2,000, second $1,000, and third $500. Additional finalists will also receive a $100 gift card.

We would like your help in reaching out to students.

Below are three easy ways you can help us in our efforts:

For additional information and official rules visit or contact CSDA’s Public Affairs Specialist, Bernice Creager via email or by calling 916-442-7887.

Time travel in the Grand Canyon

Time travel in the Grand Canyon

Do you wish you were going somewhere this weekend? Then read this post, which takes you on a raft deep into the Grand Canyon, and takes you back to your college days, as well.

Each spring, graduate students in geology, ecology and hydrology at UC Davis (University of California) end the semester by rafting over a 100 miles down the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon — to experience and talk science. This year, they brought with them a writer, a photographer and a few GoPro cameras to document the journey. They produced an immersive reading experience with audio, video and stunning photography that makes you feel like you’re there.

Explore the Grand Canyon


Imagine a day without water

A message from the Value of Water Coalition:

We have all experienced the frustration of bone-rattling potholes or traffic back-ups from emergency road repairs on a hot summer day. It’s maddening, expensive, and it has become commonplace to demand public officials step up to fix it. Now keep those potholes and traffic jams in mind, but picture a separate, hidden infrastructure system that is larger and, in some cases, a hundred years older than those roads and bridges. You can’t see it, but it ensures we are able to go about our daily routines without a second thought. It keeps our food growing, our manufacturing plants humming, and the lights on in our houses and offices.

These are our water and wastewater systems – underground, out of sight and out of mind. But they work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to bring clean, safe water to us and take it away after we use it to be treated before it is safely released back into the environment. Unlike the potholed roads you see on your daily commute, these systems – many of which were built for the America of a century ago – don’t show their age as easily. And these systems are massive. National Geographic estimates that the country’s 1.2 million miles of water mains translates to 26 miles of pipes for every mile of interstate highway.

What happens when these systems fail to keep up with our needs? Imagine a day without water. You would not be able to give your dog a bowl of water or make your coffee. Forget about brushing your teeth, flushing the toilet or taking a shower. And that is just residential use. Commercial enterprises, from breweries to hospitals, factories to power plants, carwashes to aquariums, need water, too.

Too many communities around the America have already experienced how terrible life is without safe, reliable water service. Of course the catastrophe in Flint, Michigan comes to mind, as well as other communities facing broken infrastructure that taints water supplies and leaves residents fearful. Beach goers along the Great Lakes are accustomed to seeing beach closure signs because untreated sewage overflows make water unsafe for swimming. New Orleans’ residents routinely have “boil water advisories.” In the last year, residents from South Carolina to West Virginia lost water and wastewater service because of terrible flooding. And communities experiencing epic drought in the Central Valley of California have literally relocated residents because their wells have run dry. These communities know that a day without water is a crisis.

On September 15th, hundreds of organizations across the country, including water agencies, mayors, community organizations, engineers and business leaders are joining forces to raise public awareness and spark action to solve water and wastewater problems today, before they become a crisis tomorrow. Without strong voices advocating for this work, our water systems will continue to be out of site and out of mind. We have to keep up the pressure to address issues with our water and wastewater systems today so your community can imagine a day without water, but never has to live through it.

Get the word out. We have Twitter and Facebook messages and graphics to get you started.

We are not running out of water

We are not running out of water

Today’s post is a good one for the weekend ahead.

It is an excerpt from John Fleck’s new book, Water is For Fighting OverDon’t let the title dissuade you, because Fleck’s point is that we’ve been “running out of water” for a long time and yet it hasn’t happened, because all of us in the American Southwest, from the legislator to the homeowner, are collaborating, cooperating and adapting.

Read the excerpt from Water is for Fighting Over