Tulare County plans to build new well in East Porterville

EAST PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tulare County is working on an emergency well to help people in East Porterville.

Mari Mejia is running low on water, "it's really tough, yeah."

It's Thursday, "I have maybe 200 gallons left," she said, one day short of a refill.

Reporter said, "is that enough?" Mejia answered, "no, that's maybe one wash load."

Mejia is married to a water hauler in East Porterville but it doesn't help. When the tank is dry, she has to wait.

"It's harder now, when the kids are off on vacation because it tends to be more water," Mejia said.

In this town, there isn't enough water. A lot of it comes from out of town, in trucks and bottles. The Aquaman, also known as Jim Brough, delivers it 5 times a week.

Over the phone, Brough said, "the biggest problem is the time it takes to go get the water and bring it back in."

Tulare County has a solution, an emergency well with a $2.5 million price tag. It'll take multiple grants and a lot of paper work. Eric Coyne, with the county's Resource Management Agency says, $500,000 will come from the federal government."

"We're going after state and federal money that will be pooled, we're all working together to get this done," Coyne said.

When it's done, the well will tie in with the city. It won't connect to pipes in East Porterville at first, but water trucks would be able to use it to fill up.

Coyne added, "you'd just have a short haul to the local residents."

For Mejia, that's good news and it gives her hope, "a lot, much more than we had before."
The county has 3 applications to fill out for state and federal money. If all goes as planned, the well could get drilled in a matter of months.
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