Lake Morena Views Mutual Water Co.


By Miriam Raftery

April 9, 2020 (Lake Morena, CA ) – Last September, the County issued a do-not-drink order for 123 customers of the Lake Morena Views Mutual Water Co. due to high nitrate levels.  Nearly seven months later, high nitrate levels in the district's well water persist, forcing many rural residents to rely on bottled water for drinking and cooking.

Solving the problem will take more money than the small rural district can afford. As a result, the state is mandating that to receive funding help, the district must be combined with the neighboring Oak Shores Municipal Water District which serves Lake Morena Village – even though customers in that district previously voted against consolidation.

According to the State of California, infants under six months old and pregnant women should not drink water with high nitrate levels. Infants who drink nitrate-contaminated water or formula made with the water can develop blue baby syndrome, which causes blue skin and if left untreated, death.  High nitrates can also affect oxygen-carrying ability of the blood in pregnant women. Wellman Simmonds, president of Lake Morena Views Mutual Water Co., says that the warning also includes “elderly and those who are sick to not utilize the water for cooking or drinking.”

Boiling, freezing, filtering or letting tap water stand will not reduce nitrate levels—and boiling may actually increase nitrate concentrations.

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