San Benito County

High nitrates persist in San Juan Bautista water

San Juan Bautista residents ask if they can drink the water

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Calif. - San Juan Bautista residents spoke at the city council meeting Thursday night about the ongoing issue of high nitrates in the water.

Currently, the city's well number three isn't pumping any water due to high levels of nitrates. Last week, city officials brought well 2 back on line -- even though it also has high levels of nitrates -- because of the ongoing drought.

Businesses say they are spending hundreds - if not thousands -- of dollars each week bring in bottled water and bagged ice.

It isn't just businesses being hampered by the problem though. The city council plans to speak with the San Benito County Health Department Friday to discuss the potential health impacts. 

As far as cleaning up the exisisting wells goes, the council is considering a reverse osmosis system, but that could take months to put in and costs millions.

The council is also mulling over whether to drill far below the #2 well to see if they can tap into a cleaner water source, but city officials say they can't give residents a time table for when a solution will be reached.

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