Blackened tap water in Stratford linked to sinking land

The Fresno BeeJuly 9, 2014 

A malfunctioning water well in Stratford has been repaired and will be working again by Thursday afternoon, the Stratford Public Utilities District said Wednesday.

Last week, tap water in the rural Kings County community of 1,200 turned black because of sand in the system, causing the utilities district to disconnect one of only two working wells in town.

A crew pulled the pump and inspected the well casing, and video images showed the casing had failed in three places, manager Jon Demsky said.

The breached casing was probably caused by land subsidence, Demsky said. The water table in Stratford has dropped 100 feet in two years, he said.

The crew repaired the casing and began lowering the pump into the well Wednesday and will connect the well to the water system Thursday.

The water is safe to drink, and testing of samples found no contamination, Demsky said.

Stratford has about 320 service connections, mostly residential.

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

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