Health officials: Arvin water safe to drink

State health officials give approval after finding no bacteria in the water.
ARVIN, CA - State inspectors on Monday said Arvin's water is safe to drink. But, some residents say the water coming out of the faucet smells funny.

The Arvin Community Water District said there shouldn't be a problem since the city passed two separate tests on two different days, showing there is no bacteria in the water.

"There was no contamination," said Arvin Community Water District Manager, Fernando Pantoja. "It could be many different things. It would have to be household to household to see what the problem is. If there's a big presence, we'd go in to sample the water for taste and odor. And, the level test would tell us exactly what's in the water. But at this time, we've been flushing. We haven't heard of anybody notifying us of an odor problem at this point."

Last Thursday, an old tree fell during high winds and uprooted the city's water main. Water was restored Friday, but the city issued a 'boil water' notice until a state inspection was completed.

Kern County public health workers went out Monday afternoon to inspect and clear Arvin restaurants.

The initial oral confirmation didn't help local businesses, which couldn't open until the health department gave formal approval.

"The store being closed, they [employees] lost their hours pretty much, so my boss is trying to help them out by bringing them in today," said Little Caesars manager Liz Lopez. "We're cleaning our racks, cleaning our dough racks, cleaning our table tops, cleaning tile, cleaning grout, the ovens."

Everything from fast food franchises to 'mom and pop' restaurants were closed. But, even with the health department's approval, they still might not be able to start serving food right away.

"All of our food was discarded," said Lopez. "The Department of Health told us we couldn't use it so we have to make dough, make sauce. We have to make everything all over again, and it has to be the night before."

If you suspect there is a problem with your water, call the Arvin Community Water District at 854-2127. The water billing schedule will remain the same.

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