City of Petrolia Dodges Questions about Severe Water Shortage

Petrolia is under stage three in its drought contingency plan and residents tell Newschannel 6 they did not get any warning.

Concerned residents filled our facebook page and called our newsroom, asking us to get to the bottom of the water situation facing their town.

Newschannel 6 crews went to Petrolia and also made several phone calls to the Mayor and left messages, but she still has not gotten back to our crews.

Residents told Newschannel 6 they were stunned when they heard our report Tuesday night that they are under a stage three drought contingency plan. That puts tough mandatory restrictions on watering.

And now residents are scared and concerned.

Petrolia resident, Virginia Rosenberger, is not the only citizen ready to hit the panic button.

Residents say they just do not understand why officials never prompted stage one or two in their drought contingency plan.

Those encourage residents to take voluntary measures to conserve water, letting them know that resources are starting to get low.

Newschannel 6 crews reached Petrolia's Water Superintendent, Arron Skinner, and asked him to explain why the city is taking this approach?

Skinner says the city has seen lake and well levels drop tremendously over the past few weeks and the city felt entering stage three was the right way to go.

Still, residents say the city is not keeping them informed.

Virginia Rosenberger comments, "They should have a meeting. I think they should keep everybody informed or post it or let us know something, instead of just hearing it on the news."

The city did put out some notifications around town Wednesday, but many people are confused about one of the restrictions listed on the mandatory guidelines.

The guideline says "Watering of outdoor livestock is prohibited."

Residents immediately wanted clarification fearing their livelihoods were in jeopardy. Petrolia City Maintenance Manager says that measure only means that the city will not sell water in bulk to anyone living outside city limits.

Right now Petrolia residents just hope the city will be more open about the water situation.

Petrolia gets its water from Lake Petrolia which currently is sitting at a low 35 percent. They also pull water from 12 wells, but City Maintenance Manager says some of those wells are not pumping properly.

Petrolia city crews say they working to get them repaired.

Click here to read Petrolia's stage three drought notification letter sent out to residents.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6