Springville residents receive interim water supply

(Brock Linebaugh)

Springville residents receive an interim solution to their lack of water courtesy of efforts made by  Senator Shannon Grove and Assemblyman Vince Fong

SPRINGVILLE – While it may not be coming out of their faucets, Springville residents who are still being affected by the aftermath of the March flooding can now pick up free packs of bottled water at the River Island Country Club.

After going months without a steady supply of water in their homes, Springville residents now have regular access to clean water thanks to the efforts of Senator Shannon Grove and Assemblyman Vince Fong. On Aug. 11, Grove and Fong invited residents to head down to the country club from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to grab cases of Crystal Geyser water, who worked with Grove to supply the residents.

“The residents are rightfully upset because they have no water,” Fong said. “So we stepped in to provide them water in the short term, but the goal is to get water to these residents permanently.”

Representatives from Del Oro – Springville’s water provider – as well as two local Conservation Corps were also present to assist with the handout. Dozens of pallets of water were delivered to the club, which will be restocked as needed.

While this handout was more of an event, it was noted that residents are welcome to stop by every day to grab the water they need – limited to two packs of individual bottles per person, as well as a case of gallon water jugs.

“We found out what was happening and we just engaged,” Senator Grove said. “Crystal Geyser is a client of mine, and I call them every time we need water.”

Grove also noted that, until a more permanent solution is provided for residents impacted by this lack of water, the service will continue to be available at the country club.

“Residents will be able to come from 2-6 (p.m.) every day and pick up water,” Grove said. “If we run out, Crystal Geyser will step up and provide us with more water during this interim period.”

Grove hopes they will only have to do this for a few months, while they work to create a more permanent solution. In the coming weeks, they hope to have black tanks transported to the homes of residents, filled with water provided by Porterville’s emergency well.

“We’re able to draft 3 million gallons a month,” said Greg Meister, a Porterville City Council member.

Grove is currently working to enlist the help of the Self Help agents to transport the tanks and pay for said transportation.

However, according to Dennis Townsend – chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors – Del Oro rejected the notion of implementing tanks after it was suggested at a recent public town meeting by residents.

“They’ve kind of rejected doing tanks in the front yard, which we’ve done before when East Porterville had the drought situation,” Townsend said. “They didn’t want to set 400 tanks.”

According to Del Oro, the water company is currently working to fix their damaged wells, as well as finish their surface water treatment plant. This is set to be done by October, according to Townsend. Senator Grove hopes to expedite this process, so residents can finally be provided with a long term solution.

“We’re working with the State Water Resources Control Board in order to expedite the permitting for the wastewater treatment plant,” Grove said. “The goal is to get water to these residents permanently.”

In the meantime, while the transportation of the tanks is still being worked out, residents can keep returning to the country club to grab the clean water provided by Crystal Geyser.

Once the initial shipment of bottled water is depleted, the water distribution will be handled by Del Oro.

“We have our own shipments coming in starting next week to continue to (distribute) water to the community,” said Del Oro’s assistant superintendent of the district.

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