Monday, February 25, 2013

Treatment Planned for Contaminated Water from Farms

The federal government is building an experimental plant in the San Joaquin Valley in the latest attempt to clean up contaminated drainage water from some of the west side farms. The problem began with the Valley’s geology. Irrigation water becomes contaminated as it filters through the soil picking up salts and heavy metals. Impermeable layers of rock below prevent the water from percolating down and forcing the salts and metal up into the soil rendering it unsuitable for agriculture. The Bureau of Reclamation is confident that treatment will solve the problem, but critics say it’s just more money down the drain. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.