The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed the water system at Oasis Mobile Home Park to be in compliance with the federal arsenic standards in the Safe Drinking Water Act, ending the need for Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) to provide temporary supplemental drinking water assistance to residents.
“We were happy to be able to help the 1,900 residents in Oasis Mobile Home Park and we look forward to finding a long-term solution that provides them reliable, safe drinking water,” said CVWD Board Vice President Cástulo Estrada.
The Park is on tribal land in Torres Martinez. Its water system, regulated by the EPA, is not connected to CVWD. Water in that system exceeded federal arsenic drinking water standards. The Park owner was mandated to provide free bottled water to the residents until the system was safe. CVWD, in conjunction with Riverside County, provided a temporary supplemental drinking water source to the residents beginning Dec. 10, 2019. CVWD provided a temporary water trailer and operator within a County-permitted area in front of the Park at the County’s expense.
Since then, the availability of bottled water has diminished as shoppers stocked up in light of COVID-19 virus shutdowns and the County’s funding source was depleted.
CVWD agreed to continue and fund the supplemental water service previously paid for by the County. The estimated weekly cost was $3,000 per week and was paid with CVWD domestic water non-rate revenue.
CVWD will assist the EPA in notifying residents of the change. The water trailer will remain on-site daily until Sunday to assist in the transition.
At this time, CVWD and the Disadvantaged Community Task Force will focus on seeking grant funding to build the infrastructure required to permanently connect the water system to CVWD.
“We will continue our work to ensure that these members of our community have access to the drinking water that they need. We are grateful to the County of Riverside and the EPA for this work to resolve this issue and we look forward to continued partnership with them for a long-term solution,” Estrada said.
The Coachella Valley Water District is a public agency governed by a five-member board of directors. The district provides domestic and irrigation water, agricultural drainage, wastewater treatment and reclamation services, regional stormwater protection, groundwater management and water conservation. It serves approximately 108,000 residential and business customers across 1,000 square miles, located primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.