Water-Polluting Dairies

California dairy farms’ high levels of waste-contaminated groundwater goes unregulated.


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According to a Food & Water Watch report, California’s Central Valley dairy farms are causing high levels of pollution to groundwater systems. Around 900 dairy facilities’ water had nitrate levels higher than drinking water standards, and the majority of the farms are located within 300 feet of a well where local residents get their drinking water. One example includes White River Dairy in Ducor, Calif., which has received six notices for illegally dumping waste into a river that feeds directly to a groundwater source. No violating farms, however, have been fined. California accounts for 21 percent of the nations’ dairy production, with five of the top producers located in the Central Valley.