Water pollution becomes a secondary consequence of California fires
October 24, 2007

The record-setting wildfires near San Diego are not only destroying hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of property, they're also creating tremendous volumes of ash. The ash, in turn, creates both a nuisance and a health hazard, which some people have been trying to contain by wetting down. But the area's water-quality regulator is asking people to avoid washing ash into storm drains, because that ash could end up contaminating the city's water supplies. Instances like this serve as a strong reminder that all water is recycled, so that anything consumed today as drinking water has also been stormwater and wastewater. The H2O molecule lives many lives.

last revised October 2007