Boil water questions answered

Plumas County Environmental Health Director Jerry Sipe released the following questions and answers relating to the boil water notice for Quincy back in early June. Here we go again:

  1. 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.
  2. How long do we have to boil water?     First bring water to a rolling boil then boil it for 1 minute. Cool before using.
  3. What do I do about water for my pets?   Use boiled water or bottled water for pets.
  4. 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.
  5. What about teeth brushing?   To be safe, we recommend using boiled or bottled water for brushing teeth and all oral hygiene.
  6. 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.
  7. Why is only West Quincy affected?   Quincy, East Quincy and FRC all have different water systems. Only downtown Quincy area is affected.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

3 thoughts on “Boil water questions answered

  • if this is the same location for contamination, would a fence around the tank and inputs solve the problem?

    • Sections of the water pipe from the spring are above ground and will always be susceptible to vandalism until buried.

      I’m also not 100% certain vandalism (as was claimed) was the true cause of the contamination a couple of months ago or this episode. Hike up the ravine and examine for yourself how rinky-dink things are up there.

      I’m left with the feeling our services district either lacks the tools or leadership to resolve the problems with our water supply. I think it’s high time either state inspectors be brought in or engineers be hired to examine the system and give us an unbiased evaluation of the problems and what is needed to correct.

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