Tipton receives millions to combat contaminated water

After years of Tipton’s water testing high for nitrates, the community receives $3 million toward water improvement projects

TIPTON –  Millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act was put towards water access improvements in the community of Tipton.

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors allocated $3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) on Aug. 16 to improve water quality and access for the unincorporated community of Tipton. Residents can expect three different projects that will aid in cleaner water to be completed by the end of December 2023.

“[This allocation is] the single largest investment in infrastructure in the community probably in its history,” Tulare County Board Supervisor Pete Vander Poel said. “This is going to address issues that have to do with sustainability over the long term of the community and I think it will benefit current residents as well as potentially bring in future economic development opportunities.”

The first project, called well No. 6, will install a new well within the community. The second project is called the North Burnett Rd. water line replacement project, will install 1,000 feet of new pipelines and water service connections to those living on North Burnett Road. 

The third project will be the wastewater treatment plant improvement project which will install a flowmeter, which measures fluid going through pipes, and install pipelines that will better connect the wastewater facility to the Tipton Community Service District. These projects will begin within 90 days of it being passed at the Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The 2021 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report for the Tipton Community Services District reported that nitrate continues to contaminate Tipton’s water source, a problem faced by Exeter this year as well. The California State Water Resources Control Board found that high-levels of nitrate in water can not only cause adults to become nauseous and sick, but it is hazardous to women who are pregnant as it cuts off oxygen to growing babies.

“Once completed, the contribution that [the water improvements] will make to the quality of life for [Tipton] residents and the resiliency for the future is invaluable,” Vander Poel said. “This effort puts us one step closer to providing clean water access for Tulare County residents.”

Future water infrastructure improvements will also reach Pixley, Cutler, Ivanhoe, Orosi, Strathmore, Poplar and Earlimart, though the award amount is to be determined. 

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