Local News

Friday, Feb 15 2013 01:37 PM

Ask The Californian: Why are we in Westchester smelling so much chlorine in the water?

By The Bakersfield Californian

Q: What's with the strong chlorine smell coming from the water in the Westchester neighborhood of Bakersfield?

-- A combination of questions brought to The Californian's attention

A: Yes, there was more chlorine in the neighborhood's water the past few days but it's nothing to worry about, said Rudy Valles, district manager for California Water Service Co. in Bakersfield.

What happened is Cal Water began mixing water from a new source -- from a new turnout put in late last year to deliver Kern County Water Agency water into Cal Water's local system -- with water from a groundwater well it's been using, Valles said.

The residual amount of chlorine (used for treatment) in each water source was higher than it should have been for a mixture of the two, and some people were sensitive to the result, he said.

Cal Water got the most calls from customers about the issue Thursday, Valles said. He said the company is lowering the amount of chlorine being put in the water and flushing the system.

The smell should go away this weekend, Valles said.

"It's not going to hurt anybody," he said. "They can smell it in the water, but it isn't unsafe."

Submit questions to asktbc@bakersfield.com or to The Bakersfield Californian, c/o Christine Bedell, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302.

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