California Water Service (Cal Water) and the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water (DDW) have issued a precautionary boil water advisory for customers in Cal Water’s Squirrel Mountain, South Lake, and Mountain Mesa water systems.
These customers are advised to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking, preparing food, and brushing teeth until further notice.
The boil advisory is a precautionary measure stemming from the loss of power and water pressure caused by the Erskine Fire. Any time water pressure drops below the threshold set by the DDW, water quality samples must be tested to ensure that water quality is not negatively affected. Customers currently without water should also boil water when service has been restored.
Customers in these three areas should boil water rapidly for at least one minute or use bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and preparing food until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Customers should also discard ice cubes made from tap water or their refrigerator’s water line. If customers have pets and are unsure about providing water to them during this advisory, they are advised to consult their veterinarian. Tap water is safe for showering, bathing, and other household uses.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the families who lost their loved ones, and our thoughts are with all of the families who have been impacted by this devastating fire,” said Local Manager Chris Whitley. “Living and working here, I see first-hand how overwhelming this is, and we understand the added challenge of some customers needing to boil their water. We apologize for the inconvenience it causes; we are issuing this as a precaution because protecting our customers’ health and safety with the drinking water supply is our highest priority.”
When it is possible to do so, Cal Water will conduct water quality testing to determine whether water quality was affected by the fire, and customers will be notified when they no longer need to boil their water.
Customers under the boil water advisory who choose to use bottled water during this time can save their receipts for reimbursement by Cal Water or pick up bottled water at no charge from the Cal Water Customer Center at 7138 Lake Isabella Boulevard, Lake Isabella, CA 93240, even though the office is closed to normal walk-in traffic today. After the fire emergency has passed, customers can send receipts to our Customer Center to the attention of Chris Whitley.
Cal Water is also asking all customers in the area who are still in their homes and have water service to reduce their water use as much as possible, so that Cal Water crews and other first responders can continue to have adequate water supplies needed to do their jobs.
“We have crews out working hard and support and equipment from our other Cal Water districts around the state to ensure water remains in the system for firefighting needs and our customers during this incredibly difficult time,” Whitley said.
Cal Water serves approximately 5,200 service connections in the Kern River Valley and about 2 million people through 480,300 service connections in California. The company has provided water service in the Kern River Valley area since 2000. Additional information may be obtained online at www.calwater.com.