The American Valley Community Services District is continuing to work on a broken water line in the area of the Spring Hill well that is believed responsible for the presence coliform bacteria and E.coli bacteria in the water distributed to customers in west Quincy.
Those residents have been under a boil water notice since Wednesday afternoon, June 5, and now it appears that will extend into and possibly through next week. According to the services district, the line has been taken down for repairs and the district will continue to chlorinate the system. Customers are warned that they may smell the chlorine, but it is still not safe to drink; it must still be boiled. This notice is for water customers from Cemetery Hill to Plumas District Hospital in Quincy. East Quincy is not affected.
The services district made another reverse 911 call late this afternoon to notify customers of the extension. Earlier today, the district said that vandals might be at fault, after the cause of the possible contamination was traced to a broken water line in the area of the Spring Hill well.
The services district is continuing to work with the state on testing the water and will issue a notice when the water is safe to drink.
Plumas County Environmental Health Director Jerry Sipe released the answers to several questions relating to the boil water notice for Quincy.
- What exact areas of Quincy are affected? The affected area is just downtown Quincy, from Cemetery Hill, west to beyond the hospital and south of Spanish Creek. If you are on a private well, you are not affected.
- How long do we have to boil water? First bring water to a rolling boil then boil it for 1 minute. Cool before using.
- What do I do about water for my pets? Use boiled water or bottled water for pets.
- When will the water be safe to use again? The Community Services District is working on that. Be prepared to use boiled or bottled water for several days until notified that tap water is once again safe to drink.
- What about teeth brushing? To be safe, we recommend using boiled or bottled water for brushing teeth and all oral hygiene.
- If I use the water to wash my hands could I contaminate things? Thoroughly washing your hands with soap and thoroughly drying your hands will prevent infection. As an added margin of safety you can use hand sanitizer after washing.
- Why is only West Quincy affected? Quincy, East Quincy and FRC all have different water systems. Only downtown Quincy area is affected.
- What do I do if I feel like I have symptoms? Anyone experiencing symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, with or without fever should seek medical attention. These symptoms are not unique to exposure to potential contaminants in the water and the doctor’s involvement is key to identifying the cause of your illness.
- Is potentially contaminated water safe for washing dishes? It is best to use boiled or bottled water for dishwashing. As an alternative, you can use tap water to wash dishes if you soak cleaned dishes for 1 minute in a disinfectant rinse. Use 1 tablespoon of unscented bleach per gallon of water in the final rinse and allow dishes to completely air dry before use.
- How should I wash fruits and vegetables and make ice? Fruits, vegetables and any other foods that will not be cooked before eating should be washed and rinsed with boiled (then cooled) water or bottled water. Similarly, ice should be made with boiled or bottled water.
- Do drip coffee makers boil the water long enough to be safe or should I use bottled water? Use bottled water for drip coffee makers.