Illegal marijuana grows poison water sites


TRINITY COUNTY, Calif. - Public health is issuing a notice, warning people that more than 180 water sites in Trinity County could be contaminated by pesticides from illegal marijuana grows.

Public health officials said illegal marijuana grows on public lands are of increasing concern. A recent study concluded that multiple sites evaluated in Trinity County have tested positive for California banned pesticides and residuals of those pesticides spanning over several years, and that old sites continue to contaminate the soil and leach chemicals into the surrounding area.

Officials said illegal grow sites are found to be widespread in the South Fork and North Fork Trinity River, and could leach pesticides into the drinking water.

One of the major pesticides of concern is Carbofuran. Public health officials said they are most concerned with Carbofuran because illegal growers use creek beds to cultivate, and most large water systems are water diversions of the Trinity River.

They released a list of more than 180 water sites that could be contaminated. The list is attached below:

Public health officials said people drinking water downstream from an illegal grow site need to use an abundance of caution.

They suggest treating the water with a Granular Activated Carbon filter and non-ionic polymeric resin filter.

For more information about what sites could be contaminated and how to filter water, call Trinity County Public Health at (540) 623-1459.

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