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Boil notice remains in effect; contamination source elusive

4:50 p.m. update, Sept. 23: The services district has bottled water available for its west Quincy customers. Water may be picked up from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at its location at 900 Spanish Creek Rd. For more information call 283-0836.

The boil water notice that went into effect last Friday afternoon, Sept.20,  for American Valley Community Services District water customers in west Quincy remains in effect due to the discovery of E.Coli bacteria. Services district employees, along with a state inspector and personnel from Plumas County Environmental Health, searched for the source of contamination today, but didn’t find it. It’s estimated that the soonest the notice could be lifted would be this Thursday. The district is scheduled to have an emergency meeting this afternoon to discuss the issue.

Plumas County Environmental Health Director Jerry Sipe said that his office has worked with local restaurants, schools and hospitals to assist them through the process. He explained that test samples will continue to be taken and they must be shown to be free of E.Coli twice. The process takes 24 hours for each sample.

Last Friday afternoon,the services district announced that a recent sample confirmed the presence of E.Coli bacteria in the water system. The State Water Resources Control Board in conjunction with the district advised boiling tap water or using bottled water for drinking and food preparation as a safety precaution.

This is the second time in a matter of months that contamination has occurred — the last time was in early June. The source of the contamination at that time was determined to be vandalism to a line, but no such apparent cause exists at this time.

Following is the order:

DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one (1) minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. This is the preferred method to assure that the water is safe to drink.

The district began disinfecting the water system last Friday and continued through the weekend. Water users may notice a chlorine smell from the taps because as a result.

Editor’s note: This article is not behind Feather Publishing’s paywall because it deals with a matter of significant public safety. Please consider subscribing to one of our four local newspapers to support the journalists bringing you this information.

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