No Easy Answers for Valley Towns' Bad Water

Arsenic in water. Riverdale is hoping for state money to build a  water-treatment plant. Four miles away, Lanare has such plant that sits  idled.

May 30, 2011

A water-treatment plant sits idle in the tiny Fresno County community of Lanare because residents can't afford to run it.

Four miles away in Riverdale, the state is talking about building another treatment plant for the same problem Lanare has -- arsenic in the water.

The two towns are not getting together to share a treatment plant -- a move that might make more sense than building a second plant, critics say. They wonder if the state is squandering money from Proposition 84, a $5.4 billion water bond.

But using the existing plant in Lanare to filter water for both small towns makes no economic sense, says the California Department of Public Health and Riverdale's public utilities chief.

Lanare's plant could not filter enough water for the two towns, and expansion would be more expensive than building a new plant, officials said.

Story by Mark Grossi / The Fresno Bee

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