Matheny Tract residents to see improvement to drinking water


Construction is underway on Pratt Street near Tulare. Crews are building trenches and laying down large plastic, piping to connect a tiny community to Tulare's city water system.

Currently Matheny Tract's water has unsafe levels of arsenic and nitrates.

"It will connect underneath the railroad tract to make a loop and they will build new water mains up and down all the streets of Matheny Tract installing new fire hydrants," Tulare Public Works Director Lew Nelson said

The $5 million project was facilitated by Self-Help Enterprises, which got a state grant to finally bring clean water for cooking and drinking to homes in Matheny Tract.

"It's wonderful to see it finally getting build," Nelson said.

Maria Benavides spends more than $50 a month buying bottled water for her family.

"No I don't drink the water and I don't give it to my kids I prefer bottled water it's safer for them and for us," Maria Benavides from Matheny Tract said.

Benavides is thankful they will soon have access to clean water. Her father, though, worries about how far prices will go up. The community will be switching from a $35 flat rate to using meters.

"It's fine but if they're going to raise the bill because some people are on disability but….It's better because they care for the people," Nicolas Campo from Matheny Tract said.

The state does not want any risk of contamination so each property in Matheny Tract will get new water piping leading up to the house. They will be able to start hooking up to the Tulare City water system by mid-2014.

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