More than 2,000 people living in and around Encanto have been told to boil their water before consuming it due to contamination after a water main was damaged Thursday, according to a spokesperson for the city of San Diego.
The water main break happened near Imperial Avenue and 65th Street Thursday afternoon.
The communities of Encanto, Emerald Hills, Jamacha and Broadway Heights have been impacted. According to representatives with the city of San Diego, affected customers are in the area north of Brooklyn Avenue, south of State Route 94, west of 69th Street and east of Kelton Road; as well as Leppert Court, the 1100 - 1400 blocks of Watwood Road and 1000 – 1400 blocks of Larwood Road.
The city was distributing water at the Encanto Recreation Center, Black Contractors Association of San Diego (BCA), Greater Life Church and Pillars of the Community.
“You have to be very careful, especially if you have young grandchildren or young children,” said Dennis Dawson, a resident picking up a case of water from the Encanto Recreation Center Friday. “I’m cooking with bottled water and I’m acting like I’m a Flint, Michigan, resident, being very careful.”
Rosalind Johnson, from Emerald Hills, said she worries about young children and seniors who are left without water.
"They gotta wash, they gotta wash their hands, especially with coronavirus going around. We need our water,” Johnson said.
A spokesperson for the city said they issued the boil water notice out of an abundance of caution. Affected customers are advised to boil their tap water continuously for at least one minute before drinking it or preparing food with it, or using it for other hygiene things like washing and teeth brushing.
“They need to find a way to get out the notifications better. Because a lot of people don’t know about this. My neighbors don’t know anything and they’re seniors,” said Johnson.
Midday Friday, utility workers with the city were seen going door-to-door. They were passing out flyers to notify the community about the boil water notice.
“We take it (water) for granted. It’s always coming through the pipes, but as residents we want to make sure what we’re using is clean and healthy,” said Dawson.
A city spokesperson told NBC 7 that the water main has been repaired, but water is still being tested for contamination. The issue is expected to be resolved by Sunday, or sooner.
“We’re looking forward to this situation being cleared up as quickly as possible,” said Dawson.