A damage pipe haults water use for several homeowners in southern Kern County

Several people living without water for four days


A damaged pipe in the southern part of Kern County is causing big problems for folks living along Highway 166, between Maricopa and Arvin.

For the last four days, more than a half a dozen homes have been relying on reserve tanks for water and neighbors there say enough is enough.

George Miller has enjoyed living far away from the big for the past 41 years, until now.

“I can’t take a shower.  It’s just ridiculous,” he said.

Miller is just one of several people living near Maricopa Highway 166 where a busted pipe has caused homeowners a big headache.

“We have animals. We have kids. We need to have water,” said Miller.

The 75 year-old pipe runs water to about 9 homes, but the damage has dried up daily operations in the area.

Many neighbors are forced to drive three miles west into the city limits into Maricopa to stock up on water, while others are using other resources.

“We got to bring these water tanks from work, just different water tanks,” said Javier Gonzales who’s been affected by the broken waterline.

Neighbors have hooked up a 300-gallon tank truck to their main water line in order to wash dishes and even use the restroom, which has become a big hassle.

“We had another one over here, the tanks.  The problem was that one was under pressure so, we had to bring another one with a stronger pressure to balance it out until they get it fixed,” he said.

Although the water line is owned by West Kern Water District, a contract gives John Ashcraft full authority to operate it. 

“It’s easy to complain, a little bit harder to work and you know get things going, if they love their animals like we do, they’ll just help,” he said.

Neighbors say they have helped, but are charged for parts and labor, something they say Ashcraft should be responsible for paying.

“If they would get out and work, they wouldn’t have so much damn time to complain.  You know we got plenty of ranches down here for everybody.  We spend a lot of our time and money. Some of these other guys could be helping but they just want to go yak yak yak,” said Ashcraft.

Ashcraft says he is working to resolve the problem and get the water back up for the people living in the area.  Neighbors 23 ABC spoke with say they plan to talk with the water company to somehow have another person in charge of the waterline.

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