NewsCovering Kern County


A Bakersfield man concerned for his son's health reaches out to 23ABC for help cleaning sump

Posted at 7:09 PM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 22:09:51-04

Stacy Blackburn reached out to 23ABC after he said Kern County Public Works told him the county wasn't responsible for cleaning the sump located behind his house. 

Blackburn's son is on dialysis after losing his spleen in an accident compromising his immune system. He says the sump carries the possibility of mosquitos and other insects that could harm his son. Blackburn purchased the home in 2010 but county records show the prior owners granted part of their property to the county as an easement for drainage purposes. 

"We called the county to see if they'd clean it for us, they said they wouldn't clean it because we own it," said Blackburn. 

23ABC reached out to Greg Fenton, the Director of Engineering, Surveying and Permit services with the county. Fenton says while the sump is technically owned by Blackburn the county is ultimately responsible for maintaining it because it's still in use.

"It's unfortunate, I don't know who he talked to but it is a sump that the county will maintain, we do not expect the property owners to maintain this sump," said Fenton. 

Fenton told 23ABC his department will clean up the sump within next few weeks.