News: Debate Over Stockton’s Water Treatment Process

Graschelle Hipolito, Editor-in-Chief

Now, the Californian drought is not the only issue that the people of Stockton are concerned about.  With the City of Stockton’s pending change in drinking water treatment, water quality advocate and environmentalist Erin Brockovich sheds light on her criticism of the shift from a chlorine to chloramine disinfectant.  

Many Stockton residents have openly expressed their concerns on the switch and Brockovich told ABC10 that Stockton is “too lazy and cheap to remove dirt from your water supplies.”  

Brockovich also compared the water treatment shift to the similar switch in Flint, Michigan, in which the chloramine that replaced the chlorine disinfectant was the source of high lead traces in children’s blood.

Stockton has violated federal standards in drinking water due to the traces of potentially hazardous byproducts created by the reaction between the chlorine disinfectant and the organic materials in the water pumped from the Delta.  Chloramine is reported to yield fewer harmful byproducts in comparison to chlorine and an even cheaper solution.  

Opponents of the switch stand by the claims of the potential dangers of developing rashes and acquiring cancer from chloramine.  

Bear Creek science teacher Isabel Cuerpo has taken the initiative to inform her students on the current issue.  As a result, some of her students have reported their own concerns on Stockton’s change in water treatment.  

Although it is important for Stockton residents to be well-informed on the changes that directly affect them, it is also equally crucial to consider and understand the other elements of the decision.  

“We can’t allow rumors, speculation, and other people to scare us until we have real evidence and facts,” Stockton mayor Anthony Silva said in a Facebook post.  

On January 27, a town hall meeting is scheduled to take place with Silva, Brockovich, public utilities directors, and water treatment specialists at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds to discuss the city’s concerns.