Stratford families concerned about wells repeatedly failing

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Water is flowing again in the town of Stratford, but families like the Griffiths are cautious how long this wave will last.

"People don't realize how important water is until something like this happens," said Dianne Griffith, a long-time resident.

Dianne and Billie Griffith say the wells in Stratford have broken down repeatedly the over last ten years, but none were as bad as this failure. The town's two primary wells had back-to-back mechanical breakdowns in the same weekend, leaving the town bone dry.

"They keep failing, and if we are putting a Band-Aid fix on these wells we need to stop and get them fixed right," said Billie.

At a community meeting Monday, frustrated families asked the water district and their contractor, Grainger, why these wells haven't had a permanent fix.

"It's a natural effect that's happening, it would be like how are you going to prevent a tornado and the damage that causes," said Jon Demsky, the General Manager of Stratford Public Utilities District.

Local officials say there is no way to foresee when the wells were going to break.

The prospects of building a new one also aren't promising.

"We are having difficulty locating property to put it on," said Demsky.

The water district was able to repair one of the existing wells last week, and if the last round of testing for contamination goes smoothly, the boil water advisory could be lifted as soon as Tuesday.
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