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A pump shutdown at the Rio Oso water facility dropped water pressure in Units 3 and 4 of Murieta North, leaving some residents without water for a brief period Saturday morning. The pumps shut off after the water level in the 1.2-million-gallon Rio Oso tank fell to 10 feet, triggering a low-water alarm at about 9:30 a.m., according to Paul Siebensohn, Community Services District acting director of field services.

Siebensohn said CSD operation and utility crews restarted the pumps by 9:45 a.m. The pressurized system supplies about 30 percent of the community's potable water.

Siebensohn said a reduction in the water supply to the tank combined with high early morning water demand caused the problem.

The flow of water to the tank was reduced after one of the two phases of the water treatment plant shut down Friday night, Siebensohn said. The plant returned to full operation about the same time the pumps were restarted Saturday morning, he said.

The tank water had been tested at the five-foot level to see if sediment from the bottom of the tank had been stirred up, and the distribution line was being flushed to remove any rust sediment that might be present, he said.

"The water was clear. …We don't want to do too much flushing at first … since we need to let the Rio Oso tank fill and excess flushing will continue to draw it down," he reported in an e-mail Saturday afternoon.

In June, there was a public outcry about brownish-red and yellow-colored tap water after the CSD conducted pump tests that unexpectedly turned up sediment on the bottom of the Rio Oso water tank. The water was tested and found to be safe.

Siebensohn asked residents to report water problems to the CSD at 354-3700 during the work week or the South Gate at 354-3743 after hours and on weekends.

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