Local News

Sunday, Jan 26 2014 06:26 PM

Arvin schools on regular schedule; city copes with disrupted water service

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    By John Cox/ The Californian

    A crew from the Arvin Community Services District works Friday morning to repair a water main along the south side of Comanche Drive. The line burst Thursday night after a wind-blown tree uprooted and tore a hole in the plastic pipe. Workers had the line repaired by mid-afternoon Friday, but state health officials advised the utility's customers to boil water from their tap before drinking it.

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  2. 2 of 2

    By John Cox/ The Californian

    A crew from the Arvin Community Services District works Friday morning to repair a water main along the south side of Comanche Drive. The line burst Thursday night after a wind-blown tree uprooted and tore a hole in the plastic pipe. Workers had the line repaired by mid-afternoon Friday, but state health officials advised the utility's customers to boil water from their tap before drinking it.

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

About the only normal thing Monday morning in Arvin will be that the schools plan to open on time.

Around the rest of the city restaurants will remain closed, no public water fountains or sinks will have drinking water and city officials will continue scrambling to return water service.

Since 8 p.m. Thursday when a tree uprooted by winds caused a leak in a water pipeline, an estimated 18,000 people have been without potable water.

Arvin High School, Arvin Union School District and DiGiorgio School District will use bottled water and pre-packaged meals for Monday and possibly until Friday.

Michelle McLean, superintendent at Arvin Union School District, said the district's sinks and water fountains have been shut down. In their place are pallets of bottled water for each class, hand sanitizers and pre-packaged meals for all 3,100 K-8 students and teachers.

"We have plenty of water," McLean said. "We're ready."

Her district sent an emergency message Friday to parents by text, email and phone about the water situation, McLean said. Nurses, however, will be available in case students contracted E. coli from drinking city water.

She said Arvin schools are prepared -- if needed -- to keep using bottled water and pre-packaged meals until Friday. McLean said two separate water samples must be taken this week, and each takes 24 hours to culture.

Arvin Mayor Jose Flores said Sunday that he expects to hear Monday morning the results of water samples taken by the state Department of Public Health on Saturday. If the results show the water is good, the city's restaurants -- closed through the weekend -- will be able to reopen after being inspected.

Flores said one grocery has lost $20,000 worth of meat because of the water outage.

Arvin residents have been told to boil water for drinking and cooking. They have been able to use water for showering.

Sunday, Flores said more than 2,000 residents stood in line from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for bottled water at 309 Campus Drive.

 

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