Businesses in Gorman have been closed by the Los Angeles County Health Department due a lack of potable water and contamination of well water.
According to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Deputy Gerald Newbold, who works out of the Gorman substation, the only businesses being allowed to operate are gas stations, and they are only allowed to sell gas. Even the sale of packaged food is prohibited by the order.
The lack of water started Sunday night, according to accounts in the Mountain Enterprise, a local publication. The Health Department said that a pump in the area was damaged and repairs were being made.
The health department cited businesses who were operating on Tuesday, ordering them to appear in court in Lancaster on Wednesday for violating the order.
The trip north was an exercise in futility, however, as Newbold was told by a business owner who showed up for court that all the charges had been dropped and the situation was being resolved.
The health department got involved because using contaminated water for drinking or food preparation can result in stomach or intestinal illnesses.
A press release issued by the County attributed the problem to a water well pump failure.
“A precautionary Boil Water Order has been issued for residents living in the Golden Valley Municipal Water District, which includes parts of Gorman,” the release read. “The pump has been repaired and the well is being disinfected. Sampling results to determine the level of bacteria in the water will be available in the next few days. This advisory will be in effect until at least 12:00 p.m. on Friday, July 2, pending test results that measure the bacteria level in the water.”
Health department officials said that the pump has been repaired and is back online; the water company is in the process of cleaning and sanitizing the well and distribution system. If no bacteria remains, the system should be back to normal by midday Friday.