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The original item was published from 12/5/2019 10:03:00 AM to 12/5/2019 11:51:24 AM.

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Posted on: November 30, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Precautionary Boil Water Advisory

Precautionary Boil Water Alert

[12/5 - 9:30 a.m. UPDATE]

Public Works Director Eric Heidemann provided an update at Tuesday's City Council meeting included an overview of the water treatment plant and clearwell reservoir, as well as a timeline of what happened leading up the city's notice to water customers about the precautionary boil water advisory and steps taken through Tuesday. We'll continue to provide updates as we have new information, but this is a good review of the initial situation and early steps. View the council meeting (see "Additional Item") or download the presentation.

[12/4 - 6 p.m. UPDATE]

Bottled water will continue to be distributed at both Lake Poway and City Hall from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Anyone who needs assistance with water distribution should contact Public Works at 858-668-4700. Distribution information will continue to be updated each day.

[12/4 - 5 p.m. UPDATE]

Today we learned a representative with the State Water Resources Control Board told the media the city’s clearwell is out of compliance because of its proximity to a storm drain. 

This comes as a shock to the city because in September 2019 we received a report from SWRCB with no indication that there was any storm drain compliance issue at the clearwell. In fact, in the more than 50 years the facility has been in operation and under regular inspection by the state, the city has never been made aware of a compliance issue of this nature.

Since the precautionary boil water advisory was put in place city staff have been working around the clock in accordance with state guidelines to get the Poway water system back online. As we have previously stated, testing results show Poway that water continues to meet health standards, including three certified test results showing that the water is absent of bacteria. 

The city continues to follow mandated state protocols for the precautionary boil water advisory.

[12/4 – 10 a.m. UPDATE]

Testing results show that Poway water continues to meet health standards. There have now been three certified test results showing that the water is absent of bacteria. The city continues to follow mandated state protocols for the precautionary boil water advisory. Water samples are being collected again today and tomorrow at 37 sites throughout the city. Samples from each of the sites are sent to a state certified lab for testing. 

The City of Poway has staff on site to continuously monitor the clearwell and repaired overflow structure during this storm event. 

Regional water agencies are pitching in with sampling the city’s water distribution system.

“The response from the other water agencies has been overwhelming,” said City Manager Chris Hazeltine. “Having the additional crews on hand means that we can get the work done as quickly as possible.” 

The city is following standards and procedures required by the state. The precautionary boil water advisory remains in effect until the state’s final sign off.

The city is proactively working with the County of San Diego to ensure Poway restaurants can open as soon as possible.

[12/4 - 9:15 a.m. UPDATE]
Bottled water will continue to be distributed at both Lake Poway and City Hall today from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Anyone who needs assistance with water distribution should contact Public Works at 858-668-4700. Distribution information will continue to be updated each day.

[12/3 - 4 p.m. UPDATE]
Today we are able to share that testing results show that City of Poway water continues to meet industry standards. Two certified test results have shown that the water is absent of bacteria. The City continues to follow mandated state protocols for the precautionary boil water advisory. We don’t have a timeline to share as to when the advisory will be lifted.

Bottled water will continue to be distributed at both Lake Poway and City Hall from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Anyone who needs assistance with water distribution should contact Public Works at 858-668-4700. Distribution information will continue to be updated each day.

[12/3 - 8 a.m. UPDATE]
Bottled water will continue to be distributed at both Lake Poway and City Hall from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Anyone who needs assistance with water distribution should contact Public Works at 858-668-4700. Distribution information will continue to be updated each day.

[12/2 -4 p.m. UPDATE]
After extensive investigation, the City of Poway believes that a storm drain backed up into the water treatment facility’s clearwell reservoir during last week’s storm. 

The City is securing the stormwater outlet to eliminate any future backflow occurrences. The City is also draining a section of the reservoir in order to isolate the area affected and disinfect it. Crews will flush the water distribution system to ensure that its ready to bring the water system back online.

Per the State of California requirements, the City continues to test water and has found that the chlorine residuals meet standards.

The City of Poway remains under a precautionary boil water advisory.

[12/2 - 11 a.m. UPDATE]
As a precautionary measure, residents within the City of Poway should continue to boil their tap water before drinking it or using it for cooking until further notice.

The City of Poway is continuing to take corrective action, performing water quality monitoring, and working toward getting this advisory lifted.

As of this morning, the City has made 400,000 bottles of water available for distribution to residents and will continue to provide water during this precautionary boil water advisory. Bottled water be distributed at Lake Poway and City Hall on Monday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Distribution information will continue to be updated each day. 

In anticipation of the upcoming storm, and to ensure the safety of our water supply, staff is performing a complete inspection of the clearwell at the water treatment facility.

[12/1 - 5 p.m. UPDATE]

As a precautionary measure, residents within the City of Poway should continue to boil their tap water before drinking it or using it for cooking until further notice.

The precautionary boil water advisory was issued after residents reported discolored tap water on Friday, November 29. Staff tested the water at homes where the initial calls came from, and in the Poway water distribution system for chlorine residuals, which is an important water quality indicator, and found the water to be well within standards. However, since the water discoloration appeared to be citywide, Poway water officials notified the State Water Resources Control Board of the situation and all parties determined a boil water advisory was in the best interest as a precautionary measure.

Per the State of California requirements, the City continues to test water and has found that the chlorine residuals meet standards. Staff is also continuing to inspect the clearwell at the water treatment facility, which has been identified as the location from which the water quality questions arose. The City is not able to rescind the precautionary boil water advisory until the State is satisfied with testing results.

Unfortunately, the City is not able to state when all requirements will be satisfied, but will continue to provide updates as information is confirmed.

Bottled water will continue to be distributed to residents at the Lake Poway location. The hours of distribution will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2. Staff will also be setting up a distribution site at City Hall beginning Monday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Distribution information will continue to be updated each day.

[12/1 - 1:30 p.m. UPDATE]
If you have not signed up your mobile device to receive emergency alerts from the County of San Diego, please sign up at alertsandiego.org. This is one of the notification systems that we used to get in touch with residents at the onset of the precautionary boil water advisory. Another great resource is the County's SD Emergency app. They pushed out alerts yesterday as well and you can download it from the app store on both Apple and Android devices.

[12/1 - 12:10 p.m. UPDATE]
For families with children in PUSD schools in Poway, the district has issued information via emails to families and through their social media channels. It's also available on the homepage of their website at powayusd.com.

[12/1 - 10:50 a.m. UPDATE]
We are monitoring our social media accounts for comments and questions, but due to the high volume, there may be delays. Please consider calling our Public Works office at 858-668-4700 as we have staff who are available to speak with you.

[12/1 - 10:30 a.m. UPDATE]
Water shipments continue to arrive at Lake Poway. We'll keep ordering water as it is needed. 

[12/1 - 8 a.m. UPDATE]
**Important new information** The City of Poway believes staff have isolated the area affected by rainwater from the recent storm. The City is working to resolve the issue. New water samples have been sent to the lab and we are waiting for results.

[12/1 - 7:30 a.m. UPDATE]
Water supplies for distribution at Lake Poway are running low at this time. Please know that a new delivery will arrive at 9 a.m.

[ORIGINAL POST]
As a precautionary measure, residents within the City of Poway should boil their tap water before drinking it or using it for cooking until further notice. 

Due to the recent storm event it is believed that the potable drinking water system has possibly been compromised. As a precaution, the City of Poway is advising residents to boil tap water or use bottle water for drinking and cooking purposes.  Crews are working around the clock to restore normal water service. 

“We are taking all of the necessary steps to address this situation,” said City Manager Chris Hazeltine. “Restoring normal water service is our top priority.”

Poway residents first reported discolored tap water on Friday, November 29. Staff tested the water at homes where the initial calls came from, and in the Poway water distribution system for chlorine residuals, which is an important water quality indicator, and found the water to be well within standards. However, since the water discoloration appeared to be citywide, Poway water officials notified the State Water Resources Control Board of the situation and all parties determined a boil water advisory was in the best interest as a precautionary measure.  

The City of Poway provides water service to approximately 50,000 residents. To date, the City of Poway has never issued a boil water order. 

Boiling water kills bacteria and other organisms. To avoid health problems, do not drink tap water without boiling for one minute and letting it cool. Or, use bottle water until the precautionary boil water advisory is rescinded.  Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice.

 Bottled water will be provided at Lake Poway beginning Sunday, Dec. 1 at 7 a.m.

View our resource for what to do during a boil water advisory.

Advisory in English and Spanish
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