Boil water order lifted for most of Escondido

ESCONDIDO - A boil water order issued in Escondido after a routine water test indicated the presence of Coliform bacteria in drinking water in the Rincon del Diablo Water District was lifted for most customers Sunday.

The district issued the advisory late Friday, and said the coliform bacteria that was found in the drinking water is a naturally occurring bacteria, but could be an indicator that other, potentially harmful, bacteria could be present. About 6,300 customers were affected.

It was lifted Sunday night for all customers except those located on Caraway Street, Jana Place, Sonia Place, Via Alexandra, and Via Scott, which are in the northwest corner of Escondido. About 60 residential customers are affected.

“The presence of Coliform bacteria has been isolated to a very specific area,” said Greg Thomas, Rincon Water’s general manager in a statement.  “The source of the bacteria has not yet been identified. The investigation is continuing and we are focusing on getting these five streets off the boil order as soon as possible.”

The Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Drinking Water Division determined that customers no longer affected by the boil order do not need to flush lines, dispose of ice cubes, or change filters on water-reliant devices.  

The general area affected was along Interstate 15 from about Via Rancho Parkway to State Route 78 in the northern part of the city.

Water district crews spent Saturday morning taking water samples. The coliform was detected at an intersection during routine testing on Tuesday. A series of tests are then taken before a boil water alert is issued.

During a boil water order, residents must boil tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking. Tap water should be brought to a boil, then allowed to boil for at least five minutes and cooled before using it.

Alternative methods of disinfecting tap water include adding eight drops -- an eighth teaspoon -- of household bleach per gallon of clear water, or 16 drops -- a quarter teaspoon -- to a gallon of cloudy water, then mixing it thoroughly and letting it stand for 30 minutes.

Disinfection tablets can also be used if the manufacturer's instructions are followed.

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