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Will Shafter have enough water for residents?

Posted at 9:39 AM, Dec 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-22 12:48:03-05

Shafter city officials said that on Saturday that their water tested positive for 'total coliform' bacteria and now they're making sure the residents have enough fresh, clean water.

Officials are urging residents to boil their water.

Officials said that they found this bacteria during their routine testing of the city's water supply. 

Shafter officials added that the bacteria is not dangerous on its own but it can provide an indication of other types of contamination that could be of concern.

City of Shafter officials said they have been in communication with the State of California and Kern County Public Health Department in response to the findings. 

Officials have sent notice to all residents who are affected by this.

Kern County Public Health officials are planning to contact local restaurants, markets, food processing faculties and businesses to see if they are affected by this. 

In response to the news Shafter officials finding bacteria in their drinking water, the Carrington of Shafter and Bakersfield Care announced on Sunday that they are providing fresh clean drinking water to its tenants and is also offering it to other residents of Shafter.

 City of Shafter: Water tested positive for coliform bacteria

"The fresh drinking water has been made available by Carrington of Shafter in a partnership with the City of Shafter.  There is no cost to all City of Shafter residents," an official said.

Officials added in an effort to ensure that all residents are able to benefit, a four (4) gallon maximum limit has been issued. 

The fresh drinking water will be made available daily from 3:00pm to 5:00pm starting Sunday.

Officials added that Shafter residents are instructed to bring their own clean containers.

Carrington of Shafter is located at 250 East Tulare Avenue. 

For more information on the free drinking water program, please contact John Vasinda, Owner of Carrington of Shafter at 661-343-3244, or Benita Hampton, Bakersfield Care’s Regional Director of Operations at 661-316-2202.

How can I receive updates about this situation? 
• The City will continue to update the public on the status of the situation via Facebook (wwww.facebook.com/cityofshafter) and www.shafter.com. If you would like to receive updates directly via phone, email or text message, you can sign up at https://shafter.bbcportal.com/Entry.

Will bottled water be distributed to the public? 
• The City of Shafter will be distributing water at Veterans Park and Shafter High School. Please be attentive to the City Facebook page for details.

What kind of bacteria was detected? 
• Samples collected during routine weekly and quarterly tests of the water system returned positive results for total coliform. This bacterium is not dangerous on its own, but can provide an indication of other types of contamination that could be of concern. All tests conducted have shown no presence of E. coli.

What does “Boil Water” notice mean? 
• Out of an abundance of caution the City of Shafter has issued a Boil Water notice to all water customers and businesses connected to the City water system. This notice instructs residents to not drink the water without boiling it first. Bottled or boiled water should be used for drinking and food preparation until further notice. Bottled or boiled water should also be used for hand washing prior to food preparation and the washing of dishes.

When was bacteria detected? 
• Results of routine tests were received and required a retest. Results of retest were received Saturday afternoon and set in motion water boil protocol and coordinated effort between city, county and state officials to address the issue. The City is conducting additional testing daily until the issue is resolved.

What shouldn’t I do? 
• Do not drink tap water: The State and County health officials are advising water customers to drink only boiled tap water (that has been cooled) or bottled water as a safety precaution. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one (1) minute, and let it cool before using.
• Do not prepare food with tap water: State and County health officials are advising water customers to use only boiled tap water (that has been cooled) or bottled water for cooking. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one (1) minute, and let it cool before using. Boiled or bottled water should also be used to wash hands prior to preparing food.
• Do not wash dishes with tap water: State and County health officials are advising that all dishes be washed with boiled or bottled water. 
• Do not brush your teeth with tap water: The City of Shafter is advising water customers to use only boiled tap water (that has been cooled) or bottled water for brushing your teeth to avoid water being accidentally ingested.

What can I do? 
• Bathe/Shower: Water can be used to bathe or shower as long as it is not ingested. If you have any open wounds (cuts, scrapes, etc.) you are advised to consult with your medical professional. 
• Laundry: Water can be used to wash clothing.

Can I get water from water distribution kiosks? 
• These kiosks are not regulated by health officials and have unknown methods of filtration. For this reason, the City is advising that the water dispensed from such kiosks be boiled before use.

Can I drink water that has been filtered through my refrigerator or pitcher filter? 
• These filtration systems are not regulated by the City or County and have unknown methods of filtration. For this reason, the City is advising that the water dispensed through such filters be boiled before use.

Is it ok for animals to drink the water? 
• Kern County Public Health only provides guidance on issues related to human health. If you have concerns about your animals you are advised to consult your veterinarian or follow protocol established for humans of only allowing animals to ingest previously boiled or bottled water.

I have my own well, is it safe to drink? 
• The City is only testing wells connected to the City water system and cannot provide information regarding private wells.

Should I go to the doctor? 
• At this time we have not confirmed there is anything harmful in the water. At this point what has been detected is simply an indication that there could be. However, if you have feel you are experiencing health related concerns for any reason, you are advised to seek medical attention.

When can I expect to be able to return to normal water use? 
• While we are working diligently, we unfortunately do not have an approximation of when we will return to normal service.

When will restaurants and other businesses be able to reopen? 
• Kern County public health requires that local restaurants, markets, food processing facilities and other businesses deemed to be sensitive to water quality issues remain closed until further notice. The City of Shafter fully supports this action by Kern County Health Services as it is necessary to protect public safety; particularly the very young, the elderly and those with existing health vulnerabilities.