Schools in Arvin, Lamont get water filters

ARVIN, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A coalition addressed water contamination in some south Kern County schools.

Water filters were installed at cooking areas and drinking fountains on playgrounds and in classrooms at five Head Start centers and four schools in Arvin and Lamont.

Visalia-based Community Water Center said it teamed with Community Action Partnership of Kern, the Arvin Union School District and the Committee for A Better Arvin.

Community Water Center said many rural valley communities have unsafe drinking water, contaminated by arsenic levels over the legal health standard.

"Since last year, we have been working with the schools and centers to assess their specific drinking water needs by developing an inventory of contamination sites and analyzing different filters on the market," Shen Huang, technical analyst of Community Water Center, said in a news release. Community Water Center is a nonprofit organization that works with communities that lack access to safe drinking water.

"Seeing these children get safe drinking water is very rewarding for us and our community partners," Huang said.

The filters are part of a pilot program for securing immediate access to safe drinking water while long-term solutions are being pursued, the group said.