Matheny Community Receives Slight Relief From Contaminated Water Situation
by Veronica Miracle, originally posted on May 17, 2016
TULARE COUNTY. (KFSN) —
The affected community of Matheny Tract is just south of Tulare in an unincorporated part of the county, and a local hospital is stepping in to help with the water woes.
As one of Tulare County’s poorest communities, the water is contaminated. So, a little donation goes a long way.
“We’re from Tulare’s hospital,” a volunteer said. “Here in town and we’re bringing out water to every body in the community.”
From the water spigots in the tiny community, you’ll find toxic levels of arsenic, and, for years, the poor and underserved have been using it out of necessity.
On Monday, volunteers from Tulare Regional Medical Center brought water to more than 300 homes.
Daniel Gutierrez got a case. “We’ve been buying those bottled waters at those malls up there,” he said. “It’s been two or three years now.”
Gutierrez says they use the contaminated water for everything but drinking and cooking.
The World Health Organization says bathing in arsenic doesn’t pose any risks to humans but drinking it is a different story. The chemical is known to cause skin discoloration and even certain types of cancer.
“We use the contaminated water the grass and these bushes and stuff,” Gutierrez explained. “What else can you do?”
“It’s really unfortunate that 200 north of LA there are places that don’t have good potable water,” said Dr. Benny Benzeevi of Healthcare Conglomerate Associates. “We want to do whatever we can do to change that.”
The contamination issue is expected to be fixed on June 1 by the city, but, until then, cases of water in the community are a precious commodity.