Bottled water distribution at Lake Poway during the contamination. Courtesy of the city

Poway residents were advised Saturday to take a series of precautionary steps before drinking their city’s water following a six-day contamination warning.

The city’s residents were notified at 6 p.m. Friday that the water is now safe to drink following the State Water Resource Control Board‘s review of lab tests. A boil-water advisory for the city of 50,000 had been in effect since Saturday following reports of discolored water

Poway residents were asked to follow these procedures:

  • Flush water pipes by running the water until it’s clear
  • Do not wash clothes if the water is discolored. Wait until the water runs clear at the tap. Wash a load of dark clothes first.
  • Begin flushing the faucet that is the highest up in your home and then open the other faucets one at a time moving from the highest floor to the lowest
  • Flush and clean any water dispensers and ice makers in your refrigerator, and replace filters.

Restaurants that had been closed during the contamination period were advised to follow these cleaning and disinfecting procedures:

  • Run all faucets for three to five minutes to flush the lines with safe water before use
  • Flush lines and sanitize all ice machines. Dispose of all ice and disinfect ice machines.
  • Flush lines and sanitize coffee machines, post-mix machines and fountain drink machines
  • Clean and sanitize all fixtures, sinks and equipment connected to water supply lines
  • Rewash and sanitize all dishes, utensils and work areas

If restaurant managers have any questions about these procedures, they were urged to call the county Department of Environmental Health at 858-565-5255.

The city issued its first citywide boil water advisory on Nov. 30 when residents reported seeing discolored tap water the night before. Tap water was compromised when rainwater entered the water system, officials said.

Residents received bottled water distributed at Lake Poway and City Hall while outside labs tested water samples from throughout the city and sent those test results to state water officials.

The first test of the water came back clean Thursday night, city officials said. A second test on Friday showed the water was safe to drink.

The city said the site of the rainwater contamination, the clearwell reservoir, was disinfected and refilled earlier this week.

–City News Service

Show comments