Tulare County wants people to stay out of the water. Reedley is confident their part of the river is safe, and the people are safe. The city manager urges people to look at the spill in context. But we noticed residents are steering clear regardless.
Do you hear that? Way too quiet for lunchtime at this park in Reedley. Normally a busy spot, but the signs have scared people away. But not this man. "There's nobody here. I guess people heard about it."
Today he's alone fishing. Him and an eleven inch rainbow trout. Portions of the Kings River is off limits after a sewage spill.
Nicole Zieba, Reedley City Manager: "We believe that 2,000 to 6,000 gallons of raw sewage per hour seaped out of our system based upon that shutdown."
It happened here at the Reedley Wastewater Treatment facility. It happened on monday. A computer glitch combined with a failed alarm. We're talking between 20,000 and 63,000 gallons of unfiltered raw sewage. But managers here say up 3/4 of that was captured by an emergency pond on site. "The actual spillage in context was very diluted."
Diluted, they say because the Kings River is flowing at 79 million gallons per hour. What you could call is a drop in the bucket.
But our fisherman is upstream, and clearly not concerned about the water. "I figure the water is going that way. It shouldn't affect me over here."
A few kids are thinking the same way. They're as good as swimming in the river. Brandon lee just moved to the valley. The river runs in his backyard. He had to break the news to his kids...Get out of the water.
Brandon Lee: "My sister-in-law was laughing saying its never happened before...So we kept the kids out."
Reedley says it's safe to be in the water for its residents. Tulare county health officials still want to people to stay out.
Martha Cardoso, Wastewater Manager: "I don't believe it's a major impact...I feel the public is safe."
The water is being tested for e-coli. The results from that test could take a few days. Tulare County is waiting on those results to lift the ban.