California officials to review ‘overly aggressive’ water filters
Posted On July 1, 2021
Jerry Brown on Wednesday will convene a panel to review the state’s water filters that are causing more than 50,000 people to lose water.
The governor’s announcement came two days after the governor’s office issued a memo outlining his plan to begin a statewide audit of California’s water systems.
“We’ve got to do better, and that starts with making sure that we’re using filters that work for the right people, not just for those with the best interests of their kids,” Brown said in an interview.
Brown said he will seek recommendations from a task force appointed by the state Legislature and that the governor would use those recommendations to begin the process of developing a statewide water filter program.
California’s Water Quality Control Board has been tasked with studying the filters, which are often manufactured at companies in California and elsewhere, to determine their effectiveness and whether they need to be replaced.
Brown and state regulators say the filters have saved thousands of people’s lives, but critics say the program is failing to protect the public from contaminants in the water.
Brown’s memo said that the state would seek to eliminate the filters by 2021.
The California Department of Water Resources has also been tasked to investigate the filters and find out whether the state is following the proper procedures.
In the memo, Brown also called for a “comprehensive review” of California water filters and said the state “must be ready to begin this work quickly and with the utmost urgency.”
The governor said that he will also ask state officials to develop recommendations for improving the filters.
The state has spent more than $8 billion since 2012 on the filters that Brown said are causing people to “put their kids at risk.”
The California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates water utilities, has spent about $2 billion on filters since 2012, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
The water utility that serves the state has said the filters help protect consumers from harmful contaminants, but some of the filters contain harmful chemicals.
Brown also said that “the state must have an efficient water system that provides safe drinking water to every Californian.”
Brown’s announcement comes as the state prepares to begin testing water for lead in drinking water from a state facility that has received millions of dollars in federal grant money to reduce lead contamination.
California is currently testing water at three different water treatment plants, and the state said that it is planning to test more than a million water samples from a total of 4.6 million homes and businesses in the state.
The agency has ordered water samples to be tested for lead at the San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Ana plants as part of the state testing effort.