Starting December 11, the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD), in partnership with the County of Riverside, will deliver clean water on site at Oasis Mobile Home Park to provide a temporary supplemental water source for the residents of the park.
The CVWD Board of Directors today approved an agreement with Riverside County to bring water on site for the residents over the next 60 days. Riverside County will pay CVWD for its costs in providing this service, estimated at $2,500 per week.
“I am proud of Riverside County’s ongoing support to ensure the residents of Oasis Mobile Home Park have access to clean drinking water,” said Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “This teamwork reflects our mission and values in coming together to assist residents in need. Bringing in clean drinking water on site is a positive and major improvement, and I once again commend Riverside County staff, the Coachella Valley Water District and the Galilee Center for their resolve in meeting an immediate need and making this a better situation.”
The service will include one operator that will bring a water trailer with a 1,000-gallon tank that will be stationed in front of the park. Residents will be able to draw water from the tank from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. These hours augment the Park’s bottled water distribution hours of 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on the weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on weekends.
The hours of operation might change after the first week, but the total daily hours will not change.
“Since August, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found the system to be out of compliance, we’ve been collaborating with federal and local public agencies including the State of California and Assembly member Eduardo Garcia’s office, the County of Riverside and Supervisor Perez’s Office to supplement the efforts of EPA who has jurisdiction over the system. We are pleased to have partnered with the County to provide this immediate water supply to these residents. We recognize the importance of safe drinking water and look forward to continuing to work with all of the interested parties on finding a long term solution,” said Castulo Estrada, CVWD board vice president.
The Park is on tribal land in Oasis and has a public water system not connected to CVWD. The EPA, who has jurisdiction over the system, issued a Safe Drinking Water Act Emergency Administrative Order in August 2019 to Oasis Mobile Home Park for exceeding the federal arsenic drinking water standard by almost 10 times the allowable limit. Under EPA’s Emergency Order, Park owners have been mandated to provide free bottled water to the 1,900 residents until the EPA finds the water system is safe, specifically one gallon per person daily. However, many families have had difficulties accessing sufficient bottled water to meet their daily needs. The availability of CVWD’s supplemental water does not relieve the owners of Oasis Mobile Home Park from providing water required under EPA’s Emergency Order.
Water is also available to residents of the Oasis Mobile Home Park at the Galilee Center in Mecca, 66-101 Hammond Rd., every day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For after-hours assistance, call the Galilee Center at (760) 396-9100.
“The residents of Oasis Mobile Home Park have the right to safe and clean drinking water,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “While we continue to monitor the water treatment system’s compliance with safety standards, EPA appreciates the support of Coachella Valley Water District and Riverside County in helping the residents with temporary emergency access to supplemental drinking water.”
The County and CVWD have a history of collaborative work to address Disadvantaged Community water needs in the Eastern Coachella Valley. CVWD formed the Disadvantaged Communities Infrastructure Task Force in 2016 to address safe drinking water needs in the Coachella Valley long-term. The County of Riverside and Supervisor Perez’s office are members of that Task Force. The group recently completed the Eastern Coachella Valley Water Supply Master Plan, which identified and mapped all small, private water systems (mobile home parks), developed a prioritization process that considered things like proximity to existing pipelines, cost, and number of people affected and water quality, and conducted preliminary engineering for the top two highest ranked projects. These efforts, combined with the State’s Safe and Affordable Drinking Water legislation, will be critical to continuing to address the disadvantaged community water-related needs, such as those experienced by the Oasis Mobile Home Park residents.
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 storm water 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.
Supervisor V. Manuel Perez represents the eastern two-thirds of Riverside County on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Stretching from Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs, south to the Salton Sea and east to Blythe and the Colorado River, the 4th District is the largest geographical district in the county. Supervisor Perez’s office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.