"For a good part of its rich history, residents of unincorporated Allensworth, the first African American colony west of the Mississippi, have gone without a reliable supply of safe drinking water."
This is still the case today, where the Tulare County community's wells -- which provide water to the neighboring Colonel Allensworth State Historical Park that commemorates the area's legacy -- exceed federal levels for arsenic.
Arsenic is naturally occurring in the area, and consumption of the semi-metal can cause nausea and skin discoloration. It has also been associated with various cancers.
Residents of Allensworth and neighboring Alpaugh – both rural, unincorporated communities in Tulare County whose water has elevated arsenic levels -- have advanced a novel proposal to resolve the water issues in their communities. Under the plan, the Allensworth and Alpaugh Community Services Districts would combine with the Angiola Water District, which sells water for irrigation, to deliver drinking water to residents. Late last week, Allensworth and Alpaugh's proposal received nearly $420,000 in state grants to research its feasibility."