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Free bottled water delivery for those without clean tap water

Jerry Jimenez

An estimated 44,000 Central Coast households get their tap water from wells, and many of those wells— particularly in the Salinas Valley—are contaminated with nitrates and other pollutants, so residents often drink and cook with bottled water.

But due to panic shopping prompted by the pandemic shutdown, many of those families are now struggling to find bottled water at grocery and other stores.

To help, the Community Water Center has launched a regional bottled water delivery program. Households can receive up to six five-gallon water jugs delivered to their door stop every two weeks.

“This is the first of its kind program that we’re aware of regionwide,” said Heather Lukacs with the Community Water Center.

Lukacs said the Center also provides free water well testing in some locations so residents can find out if their well water is contaminated.

”People who may not even know that their water is contaminated,” Lukacs said. “We really want to ensure that these resources get back specifically to the communities who fought so hard for this funding, which are some of the hardest to reach communities in the state.”

The program is funded by the state water board. A manual pump is included along with the delivered water. Find more information on the community water center’s website, or call 831-288-0450.

Michael Barros is a reporter in the KCBX Newsroom. He has a degree in journalism from California Polytechnic State University, where he spent two years reporting for the campus news outlet, Mustang Media. He spent several months as an intern for NPR's All Things Considered in Washington D.C. Michael covers breaking news for daily newscasts, and creates features for the local broadcast of All Things Considered and Morning Edition. When he's not reporting, he's probably hammocking in a forest or painting.
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