By Mark Christian
(11/12/2013) LAMONT, Calif. – Five Head Start Centers, four schools and south Kern County communities of Arvin and Lamont are getting relief from arsenic contaminated water.
Community Action Partnership of Kern, the Arvin Union School District and Community Water Center working with local community groups are securing funding to deliver safe drinking water to the school sites by installing water filters at playground drinking fountains and classrooms.
Water experts say throughout out the Valley more than a hundred communities without safe drinking water are working on long term solutions to address drinking water contamination.
Many small communities water systems will have to wait years for improvements. In the meantime, residence and now schools are increasingly looking for interim measures they can take to reduce exposure to contaminants, primarily arsenic and nitrate.
In south Kern County, where many communities drinking water supplies contain arsenic over legal health standard, residence and local leaders concerned about student exposure have taken action.
Arsenic is a drinking water contaminants that can have serious health effects, such as reduced mental functioning in children; cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidneys, liver and prostrate and Type 2 diabetes
“We are working with our families and local communities to educate them about access to safe drinking water,” said Yolanda Gonzalez of Community Action Partnership.
As a result of this project, about a total of 3700 students and staff will be able to access safe drinking water and drinking water fountains and kitchen cooking areas.