Boil Water Notice issued for neighborhood following four days without running water

June 28, 2024 /

A volunteer filling up a bin of water for local residents at Shirley Lane Elementary on June 25. (Haley Duval/Kern Sol News)

Officials say that the water is back on after nearly 200 homes and 2,000 residents in southeast Bakersfield didn’t have running water for four days after a water well around the area shut down the past week. 

On Thursday, the county issued a Boil Water Notice in the Shirley Lane neighborhood, warning residents in the affected areas, Shirley Lane to Redbank Road east of Fairfax, not to drink the water before boiling it.

Residents walking to and with bottled waters at Shirley Lane Elementary on June 25. (Haley Duval/Kern Sol News)

The notice came after the East Niles Community Services District supplied water to the Victory Mutual Water District residents for seven days on Tuesday night. 

“Due to the uncertain timing of water source changes, Victory MWC will remain on the boil water notice until water quality test results show the water is safe to drink. We will inform you when tests show that water is safe to drink, and you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate resolving the problem within 4 days,” said the notice. 

According to the notice do not drink the water without boiling it first, boil all water for one minute, let the water cool before drinking, use boiled or bottled water for drinking, brushing teeth, and food preparation until further notice.

Shirley Lane Elementary providing supply water, food, medical services, hygiene kits, and showers for residents.
(Haley Duval/Kern Sol News)

Shirley Lane Elementary will be open for the residents for water and food pickup and other resources, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 28, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on June 29 and 30, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mon. July 1. 

During the time the Shirley Lane neighborhood didn’t have running water, their only source of water was at Shirley Lane Elementary. Where local leaders, organizations, and volunteers helped supply water, food, medical services, hygiene kits, and showers for residents. 

Residents filling bins of water at Shirley Lane Elementary on June 25. (Haley Duval/Kern Sol News)

Residents even relied on the elementary school’s water hose to fill up buckets of water. 

Nigel Truitt, 17, who is volunteering with the Victim’s Chaplain’s Association said they had people unloading water bottles all day. He saw a kid about the same age as him spend his whole allowance bringing a whole pallet of water in.  “It was very inspirational,” Truitt said

“We’ve been showering with a bucket and with a cup. We warm it up on the stove and put it in there to shower,” said Marissa Vargas, who lived in the neighborhood for 12 years with her five children. 

Volunteer Nigel Pruitt (left) holding local resident Marissa Varga family’s bird at Shirley Lane Elementary on June 25. (Haley Duval/Kern Sol News)

Several residents shared that this has been an off-and-on issue for years in their area.

Resident Jazz Backman, 42, said she and her mother had lived in the neighborhood for eight years and had water problems since they moved in. Recently, Backman had just gotten out of the hospital for a kidney infection a day before the water shutdown. “I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed,” she said. 

Lynette Hernandez, 19, said the last time the water got shut off before this week was around two weeks ago for about two days. “It honestly sucks because we have animals as well, and our animals are slowly dying,” Hernandez said as her two brothers filled up multiple buckets with the elementary school hose. 

Haley Duval

Haley is a reporter for Kern Sol News since December of 2023. She was born and raised in East Bakersfield and went to Foothill High School. Haley studied Journalism at Bakersfield College. When Haley is not reporting, she enjoys writing poetry, reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family. She can be reach at