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Water service was restored late Wednesday for nearly 700 North households that were without it for eight hours due to a broken water main. Officials cautioned that tap water in the affected homes shouldn't be consumed for at least 48 hours due to the outage.

CSD Director of Field Operations Paul Siebensohn confirmed at 10:15 p.m. that service was coming back online. Security said the repairs were complete and tests were being done.

Residents in Units 3 and 4 who lost water service should use boiled water or bottled water for consumption until the tap water comes up clean in CSD tests for two consecutive days, according to a notice distributed by the CSD Wednesday evening. The boil-water notice follows state health regulations regarding systems that have lost pressure for a significant length of time, Siebensohn said.

Water

Plaza Foods employee Jenna Fujitsubo checks the supply of bottled water, and Kevin Cox was one of the many shoppers who added a few containers to the cart Wednesday after much of the North lost its water. "Everybody's just been in and out all evening," a checker said.

 

A contractor working on the community's Rio Oso water tank rehabilitation project broke the water main valve about 2 p.m. Water service to Units 3 and 4 on the North -- everything above the second Guadalupe Drive -- was shut down while CSD Water Department personnel and the contractor repaired the break.

Ed Crouse, CSD general manager, said late Wednesday that the break wasn't a system failure or a problem caused by the age of the system. He said a joint lifted and separated when workers were disassembling a smaller tank on the site of the giant Rio Oso storage tank.

Crouse said there were a couple of reports of garages that were flooded, but the CSD hadn't been able to sort that out yet.

He said he wanted to thank the crew on the scene -- seven CSD employees and four contract employees. He also cited the South Gate dispatchers, who were "bombarded" with phone calls, and the CSD office staff, which worked to get the notices out and update the CSD's web site.

Workers will continue to flush the system all night, Crouse said.

In late afternoon, Siebensohn estimated service would return sometime after 5 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., he gave a report at the CSD's monthly board meeting and said the main had been repaired but it developed a new break. At that time, he could not estimate when service would return. Later in the evening, Security gave a target of midnight.

The boil-water notice says tap water used for consumption or food preparation must be boiled for one minute and then cooled, or bleach or water purification chemicals must be used.

Crouse echoed the notice, telling customers in Units 3 and 4 to purify their water until the CSD tests find it clear of problems. There is no problem showering in the water, Crouse said.

He said special handling is needed because of the possibility of unclean water entering the system due to its low pressure.

District personnel created flyers with the notice that were distributed door-to-door in Units 3 and 4.

The full notice follows.


Here is the full text of the CSD notice:

1/16/08

BOIL WATER ORDER

Este informe contiene información muy importante sobre su agua potable.

Tradúzcalo o hable con alguien que lo entienda bien.

BOIL YOUR WATER BEFORE USING

Failure to follow this advisory could result in stomach or intestinal illness.

Due to the recent event, a contractor inadvertently broke apart a water line during the Rio Oso rehabilitation, the California Department of Health Services in conjunction with the Sacramento

County Health Department, and Rancho Murieta CSD Water System are advising residents of Rancho Murieta Units 3 and 4 to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a safety precaution.

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.

Optional alternative to include for prolonged situations where it fits.

• An alternative method of purification for residents that do not have gas or electricity available is to use fresh liquid household bleach (Clorox®, Purex®, etc.). To do so, add 8 drops (or 1/4 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of clear water or 16 drops (or 1/2 teaspoon) per gallon of cloudy water, mix thoroughly, and allow to stand for 30 minutes before using. A chlorine-like taste and odor will result from this purification procedure and is an indication that adequate disinfection has taken place.

• Water purification tablets may also be used by following the manufacturer’s instructions.

We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate resolving the problem within two (2) days. CPDH is requiring that we have two (2) consecutive days of coliform absence before lifting the boiled water order.

For more information call:

Water Utility contact: Paul Siebensohn, 916-354-3730. Please visit our website for more information: rmcsd.com.

California Department of Health Services – Drinking Water Field Operations Branch- District Office at 916-875-5000.

Local Environmental Health Jurisdiction: Sacramento County, Cheryl Hawkins at 916 875-8429.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.


Richard Robinson's picture
Joined: 08/10/2007
Posts: 108
Post rating: 85

Water Outage

I notice that a minor but significant change in the latest update. The earlier notice said the water will be back "shortly after 5pm". The current update says' after 5pm? That could be midnight or after? The only thing that has happened after 5pm is that CSD is not answering the phone???

Richard Robinson

 

RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27726
Post rating: 1387

Return time for water

There hasn't been another estimate available since the one that pegged the return at shortly after 5 p.m.

Richard Robinson's picture
Joined: 08/10/2007
Posts: 108
Post rating: 85

Thank you, I realize that

Thank you, I realize that you got the first correct information. CSD stonewalled me when I called  before I posted the question on RM. com.. It is after all  shortly all after 6 pm now.

I very much appreciate the service you supply to our community so please don't mistake my frustration with CSD.

Richard Robinson

 

Karen Sawyer's picture
Joined: 08/08/2007
Posts: 11
Post rating: 7

no water

Any ETA on return of water?  I'm almost out of bathrooms  Frown

RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27726
Post rating: 1387

No ETA for water's return

At 6:30 p.m., the CSD said it didn't know.  See the latest version of the story here.

Karen Sawyer's picture
Joined: 08/08/2007
Posts: 11
Post rating: 7

water

Thanks so much for keeping us up to date.... it is greatly appreciated.

Vicky Fagan's picture
Joined: 09/19/2007
Posts: 42
Post rating: 27

Water

When our water comes back on does anyone know if it is safe to shower in this water?  The notice says the water will not be safe for approximately 2 days!!

RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27726
Post rating: 1387

Apparently showering is OK...

The answer seems to be yes.  From a quick web search, here's a squib from a web site of the Lower Colorado River Authority, a Texas utility:

What is a boil-water notice?
It is a notification that advises customers to boil tap water used for drinking, cooking and ice-making until tests verify the water is safe. The tests generally take 24 hours to complete. It is not necessary to boil water for showering or other external uses.

Wilbur Haines's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 474
Post rating: 470

Thanks for the info

Kudos to Ranchomurieta.com and to CSD for doing what could be done to get the word out. Obviously the fix was elusive and when it would be complete was a moving target. Anybody who's fixed broken things very often knows the frustration of not being able to know say just when it's gonna be fixed.

Because of the effort made to get the word out, I was able to get wind of it while still at work downtown and check on family members to see if I needed to haul water home. And found that at least some had received a warning flyer from CSD earlier in the day but fortunately never lost pressure.

These type of events are always frustrating and it's always frustrating to not be able to get instantaneous info. But compaired to failures of yore, from what I have heard and read so far I'd say CSD did a pretty good job of trying tog et the word out, when they had word to get out. Maybe some day RMA will get it together and be available to cooperate with CSD to also use Channel 5 for instant broadcast of emergency/urgency info under such circumstances.

And of course RM.COM was an indispensable outlet for that information. Thanks, Karen.

RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27726
Post rating: 1387

You're welcome

Glad to be of service.  And note it all started with a forum tip from member Richard Robinson, who wondered what was going on with the water.  When there's news, please share it in the forums or call 354-3916.  It's how a lot of stories happen.

Wilbur Haines's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 474
Post rating: 470

RMA being responsive too!

Hey, how about that! I flipped to Ch. 5 to see if the meeting was on, and there's an information slide about this frozen on the screen so any who flip by will see it. Good job, RMA! Let's institutionalize this sort of cooperation in an emergency broadcast protocol. Working together CSD and RMA can do great things for the common good.

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