Bill would allow testing of sewage water for drug use

Feb 27, 2024


(WKBN) – A bill before legislators in California would allow the State Water Board and Department of Health to test wastewater samples for drugs like fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine and xylazine (aka Tranq).

According to the bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Matt Haney, the practice has been successful in Europe for over a decade. He said the testing allows governments to pinpoint, down to the neighborhood level, dangerous spikes in the use of illicit drugs and would help in the allocation of resources to tackle illegal drugs.

Like Northeast Ohio, California struggles with an overdose epidemic but on a larger scale –driven by the proliferation of fentanyl. Nationally, an estimated 109,680 drug overdose deaths were recorded in 2022 alone according to the CDC – 300 Americans each day.

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