After the fire: Blazes pose hidden threat to the West’s drinking water

photo: Tubbs wildfire destroyed homes, may release chemical contaminants

Photo: The ruins of houses destroyed by the Tubbs Fire on Oct. 14, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California. David McNew / Getty Images file

At least 65 percent of the public water supply in the Western U.S. comes from fire-prone areas, and wildfires can taint water with toxins and parasites.

Gerald and Serene Buhrz were among the lucky ones.

When they fled their home at 2:00 a.m. on Oct. 8, … [more…]

Cancer-Causing Chemical Found in Some Santa Rosa Drinking Water

Cancer-Causing Chemical Found in Some Santa Rosa Drinking Water

Some drinking water in Santa Rosa remains undrinkable months after the North Bay fires, and pressure is mounting on the city’s water department to locate and control the cause. “The city is very interested to get people back and rebuilt into their homes, of course, as soon as possible,” says Bennett Horenstein, the City of Santa Rosa’s Water Director.

Fire savaged the neighborhood around Fountaingrove parkway last October. Where more … [more…]

How the Benzene Tree Polluted the World

photo: Spam can pollution deep in the Marianas Trench, global pollution

Deep in the Mariana Trench, at depths lower than the Rockies are high, rests a tin of reduced-sodium Spam. NOAA scientists caught sight of it last year near the mouth of the Mariana’s Sirena Deep. It isn’t an isolated incursion, but it was nevertheless startling, the sight of those timeless golden letters bright against the deep ocean bottom.

Shortly after came news from another team of scientists who had found … [more…]

Fracking Is Dangerous To Your Health — Here’s Why

photo: Judy's water, Public Herald (for fracking article, shows chemical element names of contaminants)

Fracking, or drilling for gas by hydraulic fracturing, has been associated with a growing number of health risks. Last week, I began this series looking at some of the hazardous chemicals injected into the wells to make drilling easier and cheaper, and the growing risks to our health by the GOP rushing through the approval of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This post looks in greater