Where: Arvin, California
Problem: The arsenic levels in the municipal water supply in Arvin exceed the EPA maximum contaminant level for safe drinking water standard.
Solution: RCAC installed more than 173 point-of-use treatment filters in four schools and around the community to ensure that residents have access to safe drinking water.
Because Arvin’s arsenic levels exceed federal standards for safe drinking water, the California State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) awarded funds to RCAC to procure, install and monitor point-of-use (POU) arsenic filtration systems in schools and other community sites. The POU filters remove the arsenic from the water, and these Arvin installations represent the first and largest such program of its kind.
RCAC is installing water bottle filling stations in Arvin as a part of a program called Agua4All, which is designed to improve access to and consumption of safe drinking water by children. More than 173 filters have been installed to date on new filling stations and existing water sources at the Arvin Union School District and around the community. And more than 130,000 gallons of arsenic free drinking water has been delivered. Analysis shows that students’ water consumption has grown from 6,502 gallons per month in August 2015 to 12,246 gallons per month in October 2016. A rigorous monitoring program to ensure the filters produce safe water is in place.
Arvin Community Services District (CSD), the local water provider, is also working on a long-term solution for safe drinking water. In the meantime, in addition to the POUs, there are three safe water vending machines at the Arvin CSD office where residents can fill large water jugs for home use—up to 15 gallons per month, free. These interim solutions ensure that community residents have access to safe drinking water while the long-term solution is in development. Once the pilot program is complete, RCAC and SWRCB hope to administer similar programs in other communities where safe drinking water is not easily obtained.