After 13 years without clean drinking water, the city of Arvin has received a $14.3 million state loan to permanently fix the problem.
This money from the State Water Resources Board will allow the Arvin Community Services District to resolve the arsenic contamination problem it’s had since 2006.
There is a $5 million forgiveness on the loan, which means Arvin has 30 years to pay back the remaining $9 million without interest.
This money will fund three new wells and a one-million-gallon storage tank.
Since 2006, all six of the district’s wells have arsenic levels above state limits. Long-term exposure is associated with increased risk for diabetes, skin disorders, and cancer.
In the interim, the city has installed filters in all the public water fountains, but tap water in private homes has been unsafe to drink.
Once this project is completed, Arvin will finally have a permanent safe supply of drinking water.
City officials say this project will save residents money and also have a positive environmental impact as less bottled water is purchased.
“Knowing that the tap water that you will be drinking is going to be safe, there’s no need for purchasing bottled water anymore,” said Arvin Community Services District manager, Raul Barraza Jr.
City officials estimate the project will take one year to complete. They hope around May 2020, Arvin residents will be able to safely drink water from the tap.