In the film Walk the Line, Joaquin Phoenix portraying Johnny Cash in the scene of the concert at Folsom Prison takes a glass of murky water and throws it to the ground before breaking in Cocaine Blues. In reality the scene did not happen that way. It seems that Cash did do a comic bit about the water at Folsom Prison in both morning and afternoon shows. I don't think he broke a glass like Joaquin did in the film but he made the a comment to the effect that the water looked like it ran off his guitar player's boots. Either scene made the water quality at the prison appear rather poor. In the video above Johnny does another water bit during the San Quentin concert.
Whether the water quality at Folsom Prison was as poor as Johnny Cash suggests, I can find no evidence. However, Folsom Prison is not without its water issues. Back in 2002 there was a sewage spill at the prison which may have contaminated water in the adjacent American River. Tests were made but none proved conclusively that there were higher levels of fecal coliform in water of the river and nearby Lake Folsom. Whew!
California is generally a water needy state and often needs to limit its citizens intake of water. The city of Folsom needed to do that in 2009 when Folsom Lake water levels lowered considerably. The condition was acerbated when a pipeline that carried water from the lake to storage tanks was flattened accidentally.
Posted for Blog Action Day 2010