contamination

Jerry Jimenez

An estimated 44,000 Central Coast households get their tap water from wells, and many of those wells— particularly in the Salinas Valley—are contaminated with nitrates and other pollutants, so residents often drink and cook with bottled water.

But due to panic shopping prompted by the pandemic shutdown, many of those families are now struggling to find bottled water at grocery and other stores.

Ezra David Romero/Valley Public Radio

California farmers and environmental justice leaders are joining forces to support a bill that would help fund clean drinking water programs. To pay for those programs, the bill - authored by Central Coast state senator Bill Monning -proposes a 95-cent monthly fee for most water customers starting in 2020.

The water at Central Coast beaches should be avoided over the next few days, the San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health said on Monday.