News Feature | September 29, 2017

Bodily Contact With Tap Water Banned In California City

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

Residents of Alameda, a city near San Francisco, were warned not to make any bodily contact with their tap water at one point this month as a result of a water quality problems.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District said problems at its Alameda Point drinking water system were likely caused by the “cross-connection” of an irrigation pipe with a drinking water pipe, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The health advisory impacted “267 homes, and more than 60 businesses in the Alameda Point neighborhood,” ABC7 News reported.

The city lifted the bodily contact order before it lifted a simultaneous drinking order, according to an official statement. The ban on drinking water has since been lifted, as well.  

“It’s not clear when — or how — the cross-connection occurred or what specifically was detected that triggered the warning. Residents were advised not to drink water from faucets or use tap water to brush their teeth, wash dishes, bathe, cook or give to their pets,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

Details on how the city reassured state regulators that bodily contact was again safe:

Throughout the day, the City of Alameda and East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) removed the source of non-potable/drinking water at Alameda Point, which was attributable to an existing irrigation well, flushed the system with EBMUD water, and then tested the water to confirm the non-potable water was flushed.

An official statement said these actions prompted the State Water Resources Control to lift the bodily contact ban.

Residents had noticed that the water smelled and tasted strange.

"It had a really foul taste," says Diana Hurwitz, an Alameda Point resident, per ABC7 News. "It was clear, it didn't have any clouds in it, but it tasted really bad."

For similar stories visit Water Online’s Drinking Water Contaminant Removal Solutions Center.