State and federal officials address crowded meeting about Northeast Fresno water problems

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Hundreds of people crammed into Clovis West High School Wednesday to listen to a panel of local, state, and federal speakers. (KFSN)

The investigation into Northeast Fresno's discolored water is picking up steam. Hundreds of people crammed into Clovis West High School Wednesday to listen to a panel of local, state, and federal speakers.

So many people packed into a hot and crowded room Wednesday night. At times, it was hard to keep everyone and their tempers cool. For the first time, the state water resources control board revealed details of an internal investigation. Finding the city had problems in several areas-- especially in reporting customer complaints.

State officials said the most complaints they've received in a year was 17 in 2014. Not enough to raise a red flag given the city's size. A lapse in judgment neighbors said that is now costing them.

"We pay a pretty good price for our water, only to hear that 12 years gone by and shoved it under their desk and didn't tell the public about it," said Gary Williams, Northeast Fresno resident.

A group of independent experts also had insight to share. They said when the city changed from ground to surface water it altered the chemistry of the water which is more likely to corrode pipes. A surprising revelation some took better than others.

"I prefer to solve a problem rather than win an argument. And a lot are angry and some like applause, but I want a problem fixed," said Lyn Draughon, Northeast Fresno resident.

The state has promised a continuing investigation-- the EPA is also involved. With so many eyes now on Fresno neighbors said they hope their taps will finally run clear.

"Lead in general and water quality, in general, is one of our greatest national priorities given, kind of, more recent events back east. It is our top priority to ensure that drinking water rules are adhered to," said Corine Li, US Environmental Protection Agency.
Related Topics:
societycontaminated waterdrinking waterwaterfresnoenvironmental protection agencyFresno - Northeast
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