New bill aims to clean up contaminated drinking water in areas like Parlier

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Yolanda Montalvo knows something isn't right about the water flowing from her faucets.

"Yeah, it's frustrating to me to come to my sink and have that odor and think like ugh is this even clean water to cook with," she said.

Representative T.J. Cox will introduce a bill meant to help residents like Montalvo, who live in areas in need of clean water but who don't qualify for current funding programs.

"Most Americans they take their drinking water for granted, but many communities in my district, they just don't have that luxury," Cox said.

Montalvo is one of many residents in Parlier forced to find safe drinking water elsewhere, in addition to paying a monthly water bill. Montalvo relies on a filtration system and water bottles.

Many residents were accessing water vending machines. One person told Actions News he's at the machine every two to three days. Another person said the dispenser is only one of his water sources.

"This is for cooking. That's it," he said.

If the bill passes, Parlier's mayor will take the money and pay for a much-needed filtration system for the wells to keep an eye on contaminant levels.

"Most cities have infrastructures. We don't have an infrastructure to even start with we have to start from scratch we have to start from the beginning to get those infrastructures started and that's what's gonna be costly," said Mayor Alma Beltran.

Montalvo claims her water turns brown, often. She's lived in her home for 40 years and wishes she could turn back the clock.

"Fresh water to drink...I mean, you just enjoyed drinking the water itself. I wish we could go back to that," she said.

Yolanda said she recently received a letter from the city mentioning problems about the water. She was not told to stop drinking it and that only certain amounts should prompt concern.
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