Date of Graduation

Fall 12-10-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Allison Luengen


This research explored drinking water wells that have detectable levels of arsenic and nitrate in disadvantaged vs. non-disadvantaged communities in San Joaquin County. The CalEnviroScreen 3.0 program and Groundwater Ambient Monitoring Program (GAMA) are used to measure disadvantaged communities and water quality data respectively. The CalEnviroScreen 3.0 scoring formula is used to calculate which census tracts are disadvantaged based on indices that measure pollution burden and population characteristics. The scoring is then combined with a census tract layer using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. The disadvantaged community data are overlaid with GAMA groundwater well data to locate which communities are receiving over the maximum concentration levels of arsenic and nitrate. Roughly six or more census tracts received degraded drinking water. Through statistical analysis using the pooled variance two-sample t-test, I was able to test if there was a significant difference in the mean pollution concentration between both disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged communities. The two-sample t-test determined that levels of nitrate in disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged communities were the same (Mean1 = Mean2). The pooled variance resulted in accepting the null hypothesis. The p-value was greater than 0.05 the significance level, with a 95 percent confidence interval, therefore the null hypothesis was accepted. In contrast, the pooled variance two-sample t-test for arsenic resulted in the null hypothesis being rejected. The p-value was less than 0.05 the significance level, with a 95 percent confidence interval. The mean difference in concentration for disadvantaged communities had 1.4 ppb higher arsenic.