Sand turns tap water black in Kings County town of Stratford

The Fresno BeeJuly 3, 2014 

Stratford residents were surprised this week to turn on their faucets and see black water coming out.

Sand that got into the water supply caused the problem and a well was turned off, said Stratford Public Utilities District manager Jon Demsky.

The community of 1,200 in rural Kings County is now getting by on a single well, which has reduced water pressure.

A customer called the office about 8:20 a.m. Wednesday to report black water. Some customers are seeing grayish water.

The cause of the sand in the water supply is probably a broken well casing, Demsky said.

A repair crew is removing the well pump and will inspect the well casing using a video camera. The video inspection is expected to take place Monday, he said.

The water remains discolored but there's no indication that it's unsafe to drink, Demsky said. Water samples have been sent to a lab and test results are expected Thursday.

"We have not issued a boil order," he said.

Stratford PUD has about 320 service connections, mostly residential.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6104, lgriswold@fresnobee.com or @fb_LewGriswold on Twitter.

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