Push for clean water in the South Valley

FRESNO, Calif.

Cloudy or contaminated water still flows out of some South Valley faucets. It's not suitable for drinking or bathing.

A brown, murky water sample was taken from Ducor in Tulare County but Maria Herrera of the Community Water Center said looks can be deceiving. Herrera explained, "By the looks of the Ducor bottle it looks really brown, it smells bad so most folks would avoid it but ironically its actually safer to drink than the clear water."

A clear water sample from east Orosi showed high levels of nitrates. Uranium was found in a sample from Hardwick in Kings County.

Assembly member Henry T. Perea noted the corroded condition of some pipes in poor, urban areas not served by large water districts. Perea said, "This pipe alone is very telling of what some of the biggest issues are and that is the fact there is no infrastructure, not adequate infrastructure to make sure we get clean water to these homes."

Perea was part of a local group applauding Governor Brown's signing of the Access to Safe Drinking Water Act. The bill offers grants for water quality projects in qualified communities. Herrera said, "Communities that are smaller are more vulnerable and often times are the ones most impacted."

Cutler resident Veronica Mendoza added, "I'm really tired of paying double for water I can't drink."

Assembly member Perea expects a bi-partisan push to result in a bill package next year giving more families access to an affordable, safe water supply.

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