Drought worsening health crisis in Central California town

Jun 22, 2015 11:29 AM by News Staff

EAST PORTERVILLE, Calif. (AP) - Residents of East Porterville and experts say not having running water and breathing increasingly dusty air because of the drought is worsening health issues in the town.

The Fresno Bee reports Sunday the town of 7,500 people has no central water system and families in town rely on shallow private wells, which have been drying out as the drought worsens.

This community and others nearby are already plagued by drinking water high in nitrates, a contaminant that comes from septic systems, fertilizers, dairies and decomposing vegetation.

Doctors in the area say they have seen a spike in respiratory illnesses, including chronic bronchitis, allergies and asthma.

Data shows the number of patients visiting the emergency room at nearby Sierra View Medical Center in Porterville complaining of breathing issues has increased by more than 25 percent since 2010.


Information from: The Fresno Bee

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