State waters polluted

Report finds over half the state’s bodies of water fail to meet standards

A list of California’s most polluted waterways released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reveals a higher level of toxic material, bacteria and pollution than ever previously recorded.

The study shows the number of the state’s polluted waterways has increased 170 percent from 2006 to 2010, according to media sources. 1.6 million acres of the state’s 3 million acres of lakes, rivers, bays and estuaries and 30,000 miles of shoreline are not meeting EPA water-quality standards. The list of ailing waterways includes tributaries along the Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne rivers. Pesticides, bacteria, metals and excessive nutrients were the most common pollutants.

The increase could be due in part to availability of information, as substantially more data was collected in 2010 compared to the 2006 study.