Tuesday, July 06, 2004

 

MTBE still fouls half of Calif. city's water

MTBE still fouls half of Calif. city's water
Half of Santa Monica's water still undrinkable after 8 years
By Timothy B. Wheeler
Sun Staff
Originally published July 4, 2004
SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Miriam Cardenas was puzzled when she first saw the strange reading in the water-quality report she got back from the laboratory. As chief water chemist for the city of Santa Monica, it was her job to see that the tap water in this sun-drenched beach community is safe to drink.

The annual test Cardenas had run for potentially harmful contaminants in the city's water came back in the fall of 1995 with the usual negative results --- except for finding traces of a new chemical, methyl tertiary butyl ether, or MTBE. Cardenas had never heard of it.

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