BARSTOW • Golden State
Water Company has identified and shut down wells in
Barstow that show elevated levels of a chemical used
in rockets, fireworks, explosives and matches.
But it is still asking
residents not to drink tap water until the system can
be flushed and tested.
In the meantime, the
bottled water will be distributed for 24 hours at
Barstow Community College. Other distribution points
include the Cora Harper Fitness Center, Golden State’s
Barstow office and Diamond Pacific.
Golden State Water
Company has identified three wells out of the 20 in
its Barstow system with perchlorate levels higher than
state drinking standards of six parts per billion,
said spokesman John Dewey at a press conference
Saturday. Two of the three wells are not in service
and the company shut off the well that was
The company will be
flushing the system to rid it of residual
contaminants, Dewey said, but he couldn’t give a time
frame as to how long that would take. Dewey said the
water company hasn’t identified the source of the
contamination yet. He also couldn’t give the exact
locations of the three wells affected, but said one of
them is close to the Marine Corp Logistics Base in
Sampling at the Marine
Corp Logistics Base’s Nebo Annex Thursday showed
levels of perchlorate up to three times the normal
amount, said public affairs officer Rob Jackson.
Officials asked residents and employees at the base to
refrain from drinking tap water.
The city declared a
local emergency Friday night. Barstow plans to make
100,000 gallons of bottled water available to
residents Saturday with 24-hour availability of water
at the college, said City Manager Richard Rowe.
were given several different locations to pick up free
clean water and hundreds gathered in these locations
around town. But due to logistic and security issues
on Friday water distribution was ultimately
consolidated initially at the college, Rowe said. No
incidents were reported on Friday as residents
“The people of Barstow
have demonstrated great understanding of an emergency
that occurred naturally,” Rowe said.
San Bernardino County
First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt said the
water contamination is also impacting residents in
Lenwood, Barstow Heights and the Grandview areas. The
chairman of the Board of Supervisors may declare a
countywide emergency, he said.
Barstow residents ran
out to buy bottled water Friday when the water
contamination was made public, and several restaurants
closed their doors because they were unable to serve
drinks or cook with the water.
Dewey said business
owners who want to seek reimbursement from the water
company for money they lost should contact their
insurance companies. Residents can obtain a claim form
from Golden State’s Barstow office at 1521 East Main
Street. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday.
Perchlorate has been
shown to interfere with the uptake of iodide by the
thyroid gland and reduce the production of hormones
needed for growth and development in fetuses, infants
and children. In adults, thyroid hormones regulate
metabolism and mental function.
According to Golden
State Water Company, the water is safe for washing and
other uses. It should not be consumed by humans or
pets or used in food or for cooking.