Stratford water still not drinkable, despite temporary fix

STRATFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- People in Stratford are still taking advantage of free bottled water outside the Stratford Public Utility District office. Local businesses, politicians, and farmers have donated it.

Residents are still without a reliable source of water after both of their wells failed last weekend.

They are being told not to drink the water or use it for cooking.

"Luckily for us, it was a mechanical issue," said Stratford Public Utility District Board Member Martin Chavez. "There always has to be a silver lining behind everything, you know. Luckily it was a mechanical issue that can be repaired."

Chavez says there has been a temporary fix.

On Tuesday morning, workers managed to restore some life into one of their older wells which have not been used in years, allowing people to at least bathe and flush toilets.

Chavez says getting this done was a priority, especially with the start of

classes at Stratford Elementary school on Wednesday.

School officials say they have about a dozen portable restrooms, but because they have water pressure, they're not being used. The schools are using hand-washing stations and drinking water dispensers.

Richard Moon lives across the street from the school, he says his water pressure is still spotty, but he is thankful to have air conditioning because he knows those with swamp coolers are suffering.

"(It's) just part of life, though," Moon said. "You gotta get the good with the bad."

The main well's pump has been pulled out, and is being inspected.

Once the problem has been identified, it will be repaired and reinstalled.

"We'll be able to flush out the entire system, make sure the Division of Drinking Water is able to approve and lift the (do not drink) notice we have right now."

If all goes according to plan, Chavez thinks Stratford will have drinkable water, and a normal supply, by late next week.

In the long run, he says Stratford is working to get an entirely new well installed on the north side of town.
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