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EPA to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act, Highlight Past Successes and Small System Challenges

Release Date: 12/15/2014
Contact Information: Nahal Mogharabi, 213-244-1815,

Agency tours small drinking water systems at mobile home communities in Coachella Valley
LOS ANGELES – On Tuesday, December 16th, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld will be joined by State, local and community representatives at the San Jose Community and Bea Main Learning Center in Coachella Valley to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Over the past four decades, the SDWA has enabled EPA and partners to supply safe drinking water to more than 93 percent of the population served by community water systems. Following the event, participants will view the water filtration system at the San Jose Community Center which provides safe drinking water to the center, its training facility and 14 residences. Additionally, attendees can view point-of-use filtration systems at the adjacent Gamez Mobile Home Park. These point-of-use systems are small, individual reverse osmosis filtration units placed under the kitchen sink; each has its own distribution spigot that provides treated drinking water for the home.

Drinking water in the lower Coachella Valley comes from groundwater wells impacted with high levels of naturally-occurring arsenic and chromium. Treatment technologies can be costly, especially for small systems which face unique challenges including funding shortfalls and aging infrastructure. Since 1997, EPA has provided more than $1.5 billion to California for their Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program which helps fund infrastructure projects throughout the state. Riverside County has received $61 million from the DWSRF for drinking water infrastructure projects including construction of new water treatment plants, drinking water wells, storage tanks and consolidation projects connecting small drinking water systems with larger water districts.

WHO: Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Regional Administrator
      Kyle Ochenduszko, Senior Engineer, CA State Water Resources Control Board
      Mark L. Johnson, Director of Engineering, Coachella Valley Water District
      Sergio Carranza, Executive Director, Pueblo Unido CDC

WHAT: 40th Anniversary to the Safe Drinking Water Act: Successes, Highlights and Challenges Facing Small Drinking Water Systems
Tour Gamez Mobile Home Park

WHEN: Tuesday, December 16th
11:30 a.m.
**Media should plan to arrive no later than 11:15 a.m.

WHERE: San Jose Community and Bea Main Learning Center
Event will be held outside of Water Filtration Systems
          69-455 Pierce St., Thermal, CA

VISUALS: Media can view the installed water filtration systems at the community center and will also view point-of use filtration systems installed in the Gamez Mobile Park homes.

RSVP REQUIRED: *** Credentialed press who would like to attend this event, or for more information please e-mail Nahal Mogharabi,