Customers in Escondido -- including the Palomar Medical Center -- have been ordered to boil their water as the Rincon Del Diablo Municipal Water District checks for harmful bacteria in its sources.
The district says routine samples showed a trace of Coliform Bacteria around 4 p.m. Friday. While the organisms are naturally present in the environment, they can indicate other, dangerous bacteria in the water.
By 6 p.m. Saturday, the utility announced the bacteria was limited to a small, localized sample. Still, as staff replaces the entire sample station and underground piping, Rincon is asking residents to boil tap water that they plan to drink or use for cooking as a precaution.
The order is in effect to customers with account numbers starting with 01 through 48, 94, 96 and 97.
Palomar Medical Center announced Saturday morning it has stopped using tap water for the next 48 hours, which includes shutting off ice machines, water dispensers, coffee makers and eye wash stations. Instead the hospital is handing out bottle water and bags of ice as needed.
Going a step farther, the center's food and nutrition services has switched to paper and plastic dishware to avoid using tap water for washing.
If you are affected by the order, the district says you should bring your water to a boil for five minutes and then let it cool before using it.
If you do not have access to a gas or electric stove, you can use fresh, unscented, liquid household bleach like Clorox or Purex, Rincon officials recommend.
To disinfect the water, add about 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per one gallon of clean water or 16 drops (1/4 teaspoon) per gallon of cloudy water. Mix the liquids thoroughly and allow it to stand for about 30 minutes before using, according to the district.
However, that method may leave the water smelling and tasting like chlorine.
Water disinfection tablets are a third option.
The residents of the following master-metered communities are also being ordered to boil their water:
- Casitas del Amigos (1195 La Moree Road)
- Casitas del Sol (1219 E. Barham Dr)
- Country Club Gardens (610 W. Country Club Lane)
- Country Club Villas (200 Montego Ave)
- Cross Creek Apartments (345 W. El Norte Parkway)
- El Norte Villas (1051 W. El Norte Parkway)
- Escondido Views Mobile Home Park (2400 E. Valley Parkway)
- La Moree Homeowners (1175 La Moree Road)
- Lake Bernardo Mobile Home Park (1202 Borden Road)
- Moonglo Mobile Estates (900 Howard Avenue)
- Morning View Apartments & Fountain Glen (439 E. El Norte Parkway)
- Reidy Creek Apartments (1342 - 1350 Morningview Drive)
- San Marcos Mobile Estates (1145 Barham Drive)
- Shoag Apartment Complex (1260 Borden Road)
- West Winds Condo Association (1007 Howard Ave)