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Grand Jury: Frazier Park taking steps to fix 'nitrate problem'

Residents receiving letters about nitrate in water
Drinking water
Posted at 2:08 PM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 17:08:32-04

FRAZIER PARK, Calif. (KERO) — The Kern County Grand Jury says Frazier Park Public Utility District is taking "positive steps needed to remediate the nitrate problem" in its water.

Last summer, Frazier Park residents received a letter telling them not to boil their water and those who are infants or pregnant were being cautioned not to drink it after a high level of nitrate was found in the water. Residents were still getting letters months after the first notice.

Grand Jury members also said if the district replaced the entire distribution system, residents would be without water for an extended time period and the cost "could be prohibitive."

The Grand Jury also found the district is in compliance of California State Water Resources Control Board's requirement that residents be advised of water contamination by letter.

Among the other findings by the Grand Jury:

  • "The entire community uses septic systems and Well 5 is downhill from several residences. If a septic system leaks, possible contaminated water is filtered into the ground and can contaminate a water source. A cursory visual inspection of residences’ septic systems located a short distance from Well 5 revealed no visible leaks."
  • "There is specialized underground leak detection equipment available that allows a field technician to pinpoint the exact location of a leak. Modern underground water leak detectors are sensitive and accurate and allow personnel to repair a pipe as quickly and efficiently as possible."

The Grand Jury recommended that the district should research and find, within 180 days, a modern leak detector that will help find any water leaks, either in privately owned septic systems or in the public water system.