The water is contaminated. But California bottled water program isn’t helping this town

A failed 50-year-old well in late May meant boiling water for Earlimart residents. But even as the boil order was recently lifted, many are fearful of contaminated tap water, relying on bottled water for the indefinite future.

The cost of buying cases of bottled water for cooking and drinking is adding up for residents of Earlimart, where a contaminated well became the main source of tap water for more than 8,000 people there in late May.

The state Water Resources Control Board that is responsible for drinking water has a program to provide financial assistance for bottled water to help communities in crisis. It has not been available in Earlimart — and it is unclear why.

The Fresno Bee asked representatives from the state water boards on July 9 if residents or the Earlimart Public Utility District can receive bottled water assistance. The agency has not provided an answer as of July 13. Bryan Potter, senior water engineer with the Tulare District of the State Water Resources Control Board, said the Division of Financial Assistance is “working on a response.”

The Bee reported last week that groundwater flowing to faucets in homes and businesses since late May has come from a well on Clay Street with TCP contamination twice […]

Summary
The water is contaminated. But California bottled water program isn’t helping this town
Article Name
The water is contaminated. But California bottled water program isn’t helping this town
Description
Buying bottled water for cooking and drinking adds up for residents of Earlimart. A contaminated well became the source of tap water for 8,000 people there.
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The Fresno Bee
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