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[Second update -- Jan. 19] Saying tests had found no contamination, the Community Services District early Saturday lifted its boiled-water order, which had been in effect since an eight-hour water outage hit Units 3 and 4 on the North Wednesday.

The district used employees and Boy Scouts to distribute notices about the change to homes in the affected area, above upper Guadalupe Drive.

Paul Siebensohn, CSD director of field services, said five samples were taken Thursday and five Friday, and all tested clean of bacteria. He said samples were taken at the water treatment plant and at different locations around the affected area.

Siebensohn offered his comments by cell phone as he walked around the community distributing the notice flyers.

State regulations require a boiled-water warning and then two days of tests when a water-delivery system goes out of service for a lengthy period. The fear is that contaminated water could enter the system while the pressure is low.

Until the order was lifted, residents in Units 3 and 4 were advised to use boiled or bottled water for everything from preparing infant formula to brushing their teeth.

The order requiring boiled water for drinking and food preparation went into effect after a water main break reduced pressure in the Rio Oso water system that serves the area north of upper Guadalupe Drive. Water service to these 700 households was shut down for about eight hours while repairs were made.

Here is the full text of the statement released Saturday, lifting the order:

Este informe contiene información muy importante sobre su agua potable.
Tradúzcalo o hable con alguien que lo entienda bien.


Customers of Rancho Murieta CSD Units 3 & 4 were notified on January 16, 2008 of a problem with our drinking water and were advised to boil water before use. We are pleased to report that the problem has been corrected and that it is no longer necessary to boil water before use. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Results of bacteriological analysis confirm no bacteria contamination to the affected system.

As always, you may contact Paul Siebensohn at 916-354-3730 with any comments or questions.

Please share this information with the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this public notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

This notice is being sent to you by the Rancho Murieta CSD.
State Water System ID#: 3410005. Date distributed: January 19, 2008

Here is the full text of the previous statement, released Thursday, which told residents how to use the water until it was cleared by testing:

We do not know if there is any contamination. However, this is a precautionary measure for public safety so please treat the water as if it is contaminated.

Boiled water is required for:

Drinking purposes

This includes all beverage concentrates such as fruit juice and iced tea where water is added.

Food preparation

This includes washing fruits and vegetables that will not be cooked. Water used as an ingredient does not need to be boiled prior to use, providing it will be brought to a boil during the cooking process.

Coffee machines

Coffee machines usually produce water heated to about70 to 80 degrees Celsius, which is sufficient to destroy pathogens. This temperature must be maintained for a sufficient amount of time to ensure that all harmful organisms are destroyed. Therefore, let the coffee stand for at least five minutes before drinking.

Brushing teeth

This includes daily oral hygiene such as cleaning dentures

Infant formulas

Formulas should always be prepared by using boiled tap water or bottled water that is boiled.

Making Ice

It is important to note that freezing does not destroy most pathogens. Bacteria and viruses can survive in frozen products for long periods of time. Discard any ice made from contaminated or potentially contaminated water

Fruit and vegetable washing

Boiled water should be used to wash all produce that to be eaten raw.

Home canning

To be safe postpone home canning until the boil water notice has been rescinded.

Beer and wine making

To be safe postpone beer and wine making until the boil water notice has been rescinded.

Water for pets

Veterinarians that were consulted by VIHA recommend that drinking water for pets including dogs, cats, birds and reptiles should also be boiled.

Immune-compromised individuals

People who are immune compromised should always boil their tap water for the purposes above.

The following uses do not require boiled water but requires additional cleaners or sanitizers:

Cleaning food contact surfaces

Food contact surfaces are all those surfaces that food comes into contact with during the food preparation process. These include counter tops, cutting boards and chopping blocks. Food contact surfaces should be washed with clean water and then sanitized using an acceptable sanitizing agent. Sanitizing agents for food contact surfaces include unscented household bleach, iodophors, and quaternary ammonia compounds.

To prepare stock bleach solutions add 2-4 ml of 5% bleach per liters of water (1 tablespoon per gallon). This will make a 100 to 200 ppm chlorine solution.

Hand washing

Using hot water and soap should be sufficient.

Dishwashing by hand

Dishes washed by hand should be sanitized for two minutes in a separate sink using a bleach solution (2-4 ml of bleach per liter of water or 1 tablespoon per gallon) after the dishes have been washed and rinsed. The dishes should then be left to air dry prior to being used. Attempting to wash and sanitize dishes in the same sink at the same time is not recommended because soap, grease and food particles interfere with the sanitizing process.

Mechanical dishwashers

To optimize dishwasher disinfection you should consider:

  • Using the highest temperature setting possible and
  • Using the heated dry cycle on the dishwasher.
  • All dishes must be completely dry before use.

All other water should be boiled. Simply put, any water that has a chance of being ingested should be boiled.

Richard Robinson's picture
Joined: 08/10/2007
Posts: 108
Post rating: 85

Water Heater

Does anyone know if we need to empty the water heater after to order is removed?

Thank you

Richard Robinson


RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27727
Post rating: 1387

Let's find out

The guess here is that if the water checks clean twice, then it should be fine.  We expect to talk with the CSD Saturday morning, after the second set of results come back, and we'll ask your question.

Richard Robinson's picture
Joined: 08/10/2007
Posts: 108
Post rating: 85

Thank You

Richard Robinson

Richard Robinson


RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27727
Post rating: 1387

No firm answer yet...

Paul Siebensohn, CSD director of field services, didn't have an answer at hand Saturday morning. He said it's a good question, and it probably wouldn't hurt to take all precautions, although the assumption is if the water tests clear throughout the sampling process, there was probably no contamination.

He called the state Department of Public Health and left a message with the question. He promised to share the answer as soon as he gets it.

It being a Saturday, you might be on your own to make a timely decision.

Richard Robinson's picture
Joined: 08/10/2007
Posts: 108
Post rating: 85

Water Heater

Richard Robinson

Thank you again for the information. Since I used pre tested hot water early Thursday for a shower, (I assume others may have done the same) and that act drew pre tested replacement water into the tank I am going to drain.

Thank you very much for your help.


Richard Robinson


Wilbur Haines's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 474
Post rating: 470

Hot water heater

It's probably important to remember that this was all just a precaution and there never was any evidence of contamination. This is just a health dept requirement imposed when you lose pressure because where there are leaks in the system the water outside the pipe, no longer chlorinated, could theoretically seep back in when the line depressurizes.

Since the insructions said your coffee maker gets the water hot enough to kill things, and since your water heater has been holding that water at a sustained temperature for a long time, and since both tests have come up clean anyway, I wouldn't worry about it unless somebody in the household has a compromised immune system or is otherwise particularly vulnerable.

After all, your mouth is chock full of germs right now and life goes on. :-}

RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27727
Post rating: 1387

More from CSD

The CSD's Paul Siebensohn added this comment in an e-mail Saturday afternoon:

"I would recommend to customers that you do not need to drain your hot water heater as all the tests have come back negative. But it never hurts to err on the side of caution and do what makes you feel comfortable"

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