Teviston residents desperate for water after well failure

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the last several weeks, Teviston residents have had little to no water flowing through their homes.

Some are fortunate enough to get a trickle from their faucets while others are bone dry.

Shelly Soriano is frustrated and at her wit's end.

"You feel sick all the time, it is awful," she said. "You can't cool down, you can't take a proper shower, nothing."

Over the years, the town of Teviston has suffered from three well failures. The last happened in 2017 and the most recent earlier this month.

Community leaders are still trying to determine what took the well offline.

"The only thing we can think is that the well went down so low that sand started agitating down below, got into the pump and made it malfunction," said Frank Galaviz, Teviston Community Service District Director.

Several organizations have stepped into to help with water needs, but supplies are limited.

Soriano said they're getting five gallons of water every two weeks and it's not enough.

"It comes out to, if you have a family of four, about a pitcher of water per person per day," she said.

Three times a day, Soriano has to fill these large tanks with water so her livestock can survive.

What concerns her the most is that several residents can no longer escape the heat.

She and a majority of the community rely on swamp coolers, but without water they can't function properly.

At the moment, crews are working to repair the towns well, but we are told it could be at least another week before residents have water running through their homes.

A temporary pump has now been installed, giving some residents enough water pressure to flush their toilets.

"It is not enough pressure from what we are usually used to getting, but our focus is to get water to the community and residents," said Martin Correa, Teviston Water Board Director.

The town's water board is now looking to create an additional well.

They're hoping state representatives will help them speed up the lengthy process.
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