Demand Increased Wastewater Filtration


Target: John S. Watson, Chairman and CEO of Chevron Corporation

Goal: Fully filter oil wastewater before selling it for agricultural use.

Chevron is using water in its California oil drilling operations and then selling it to farmers to grow crops in agricultural fields, according to studies recently released by the environmental watchdog Water Defense. This water is poorly filtered and contains all kinds of harmful chemicals and oil residue. Demand that Chevron fully filter its wastewater before selling it for agricultural purposes.

The energy giant Chevron uses about 21 million gallons of water a day at its Kern River oil field. Because demand for water is so high in drought-stricken California, the corporation then recycles the water and sells it to nearby farmers, who then use it to irrigate about 10 percent of all Kern County agriculture.

Unfortunately, Chevron does not seem to be taking its filtration responsibilities seriously. The Water Defense organization is reporting that it has detected high levels of acetone and methylene chloride in Chevron’s wastewater, both of which are toxic to humans. Not only that, but it also found that oil itself was still contained in the water.

Crops should not be grown with water that contains chemical and oil runoff from drilling operations. Sign the petition below to demand that Chevron fully filter its wastewater before selling it to farmers for irrigation purposes.


Dear Chairman Watson,

I am writing you today regarding your company’s oil operations in Kern County, California. Recent studies released by Water Defense show that the water Chevron recycles and sells to farmers is tainted with dangerous chemicals, which are then imparted into the crops and, ultimately, to the humans who eat them. This must end at once.

According to Water Defense, an environmental watchdog organization, the water that Chevron ostensibly filters from its Kern River oil field for agricultural purposes is not actually successfully filtered. It contains acetone and methylene chloride, compounds that are toxic to humans. Selling water that contains these chemicals to farmers for agricultural purposes is irresponsible and reckless, as they will be absorbed by crops and ultimately eaten by humans.

Additionally, Water Defense also found oil itself in the recycled water. If your filtration processes are poor enough to still let oil through, it is clear that your processes are not nearly as thorough as they need to be.

I was encouraged to hear that you are taking this report seriously and have vowed to independently test the quality of your wastewater, but that is not enough when dangerous chemicals in food is being considered. I demand that Chevron refine its filtration processes at the Kern River oil field so that the recycled wastewater it sells to farmers is fully filtered and completely safe for agricultural use.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: United State Department of Agriculture

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One Comment

  1. Ruth Rogers Ruth Rogers says:

    Thank you for this letter.

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