Trailer park in Kerman with uranium-tainted water has relief in sight

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Relief is in sight for the residents of a trailer park near Kerman where the tap water is tainted with uranium. (KFSN)

Relief is in sight for the residents of a trailer park near Kerman where the tap water is tainted with uranium. The state has stepped in to build a pipeline and connect the small community with clean drinking water.

Three miles east of Kerman in between a dairy and rows of corn, there is a trailer park where people don't trust the taps.

"I was five when my parents moved here, so it's always been, don't drink the water, don't drink the water. It's not good," said Mayra Chavez, trailer park resident.

Chavez is 27 now and the water still comes with the same warning about the unsafe levels of uranium.

"Your body absorbs everything. So if there is Uranium in there, it's probably in your system," said Chavez.

Betsy Lichti is with the State Water Resources Control Board and said there's definitely a risk to drinking, or even cooking, with the water.

"A slight cancer risk, and they have been getting their public notifications on a quarterly basis from the owner of the mobile ranch park."

The owner of the trailer park has also taken steps to clean up the well. He added a chlorination system to kill bacteria in the pipes. The problem is, it does nothing to reduce uranium levels. So the state decided to work with Kerman to build a pipeline from the city to the park. Thirty-six homes would be connected and people like Gisselle Alvarez would be able to start trusting the taps.

"It means a lot. I mean, it's something people take for granted."

The project will cost $3.2 million and it'll also give the city a new well. The state has secured the grant and Lichti said construction should be complete sometime next year.

For Chavez-- who now has her own kids-- she's happy with the news.

"Happy that now, I guess, yeah, now because they can drink water out of the water hose."

It would mean less money spent on bottled water and it would put one major worry to rest.

Related Topics:
newscontaminated waterdrinking waterfresno countyKerman
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