Private wells in California farm area show high uranium

Jan 26, 2015 7:07 PM by News Staff

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A new study shows high levels of uranium in one out of every four domestic water well in parts of California's Central Valley.

The U.S. Geological Survey released the study on the nation's groundwater last week. Part of the research looks at groundwater in California's Central Valley farm region. The study finds that farmers' use of groundwater is leeching more and more naturally occurring uranium into well water.

U.S. Geological Survey researcher Bryant Jurgens says the contamination is mainly a problem in eastern and southern parts of the Central Valley. About a quarter of wells tested there showed uranium levels above the federal maximum.

The study found one in five domestic water wells nationally tested positive for high levels of at least one contaminant.

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