(excerpts from the San Mateo County Times)
More than two dozen farmworkers and their families are looking for new places to live after being evicted from their Pescadero homes because their water source is contaminated by nitrates.
“ Families living at two labor camps in rural Pescadero have been drinking unhealthy levels of nitrate-contaminated water for years, possibly even a decade, a San Mateo County Times investigation has found. About 50 people — 28 farmworkers and their families — were evicted from their barracks and trailers south of Pescadero on May 14 after county health officials discovered they were drinking and cooking with nitrate-tainted water more than six times the public health limit. Another camp with at least 25 residents was closed on May 18 for identical reasons. The families are tenants of "Red" Marchi, their employer and owner of Marchi's Central Farm. The farm grows 300 acres of Brussels sprouts, leeks and other vegetables in and around Pescadero. .Nitrates are linked to blue baby syndrome, which cuts off oxygen to essential organs in infants. It can also affect pregnant women and immuno-compromised adults…Nitrates have tainted Pescadero's drinking water for years. The county installed a well to serve central Pescadero in the early 1980s after the groundwater wells at the local elementary school and under several homes developed serious nitrate problems. A byproduct of nitrogen fertilizer and leaky septic tanks, nitrates seep into groundwater and stay there for decades, even forever…Marchi's Central Farm also has a long history of housing safety violations, county records show.
( From Julia Scott, San Mateo County Times, for the full article go to: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/nationalbreaking/ci_15119587?source=email)