Miguel Sanchez has lived in Lamont, a small town in Kern County for over 40 years. Lamont is approximately 4.6 square miles, but only .65% of that land is water. There are 7 wells in lamont, but 1 has excessive arsenic and many others have 123 TCP well over the notification limit. 123 TCP is a contaminate derived from soil pesticides that were used in the 1950s that still persist in the soil.
“As a business man in Lamont, this community has been great to me and other businesses,” Miguel said. Miguel has served in many Lamont community organizations, including the Lamont Public Utility District, the Lamont School District, Lamont Parks & Recreation, Lamon Storm Water Districts, and the Local Chamber. “I really enjoy our community members, they are wonderful. I would like to help our community grow more,” he says. Miguel says that Lamont is too small to be an officially independent city, and thus Lamont has to adhere to local supervisors for major decisions instead of relying on local community members, who are the people actually impacted.
Miguel believes that other barriers to water security in Lamont include inadequate informational notices. “The community needs more information about water to better comprehend what the state standards mean." These notices can be hard to understand, especially for many residents of Lamont who don’t speak English as a first language. Additionally, Miguel thinks that Lamont should invest in new water infrastructure. “Our infrastructure is old and so are our wells; in being proactive I’d like our community to have the existing infrastructure replaced.” He would also like safe water filters installed on taps to help remove pollutants. “I like the filters installed throughout the community and would like to continue programs such as those and help secure funds to maintain them,” he said.
Some of these goals are currently in progress. Lamont recently received a grant to construct a new well. Construction was completed in spring 2016. CWC has helped to ensure that the new wells are blended to ensure that all of the population of Lamont is serviced and has access to the new wells, and that the water from the new wells is safe.