Plan unveiled to make Arvin water safer

Arvin residents hear from state and local officials about a project to construct five new water wells.
ARVIN, CA- Members of the Arvin community had the chance to sit down with state officials Thursday night to discuss the quality of the town's water.

A new proposed project could add more wells and treatment plants to ensure the water there is safe. The proposed construction plan would begin by early next year and would take up to three years to complete.

Residents of Arvin say for years they've been told their water is bad but now, there is a timeline to fix the problem long term.

"Which is why we continue to engage the state and demand that they prioritize the needs of the residents of Arvin as they would the residents of anybody in Kern County or anyone in California," said Kern County 5th District Supervisor Leticia Perez.

Thursday night state and local officials explained a proposed construction project for five new groundwater wells and up to two arsenic treatment plants in Arvin.

"The planning project has been going on they've been trying to find locations and evaluate some test site locations, they actually drilled two test wells," said Tricia Wathen from the California Department of Public Health Drinking Water Program.

Residents shared their frustrations about the water, saying that it sometimes smells and it's impacting the way they live their every day life.

"Go to work get a lost of dust during the day, come home, they don't have water to shower with they don't have water to cook they don't have water for nothing, " said Arvin resident Gustavo Aguirre.

The water is safe to use and drink right now, but the plan is to make sure it stays that way.

The project would cost between $8-11 million. Some of the cost would be covered by grants from the California Department of Public Health and funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

In reality, the health risks are not imminent. Supervisor Leticia Perez says Arsenic in water can only cause major health issues if you drink at least two liters every day for 70 years.

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