NORTH FORK — An email from local favorite restaurant La Cabana stating that they were closing until further notice due to issues with the water, prompted a call to District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler.
Responding to our message within minutes, Tom said that the water was tested earlier this week, as it is on a regular basis, and the tests came back late Wednesday revealing the presence of E. coli and coliform.
A Boil Order was issued to those who are part of Maintenance District 8A. Water for the district is supplied from one deep well drawing from rock fractures approximately 520 feet below the surface. The well produces about 240 gallons per minute and supplies a 200,000 gallon storage tank. From there, the system utilizes a gravity fed distribution system to supply the district. The system is fairly new, with PVC distribution system piping. This water system is not chlorinated.
Those working on the problem began putting chlorine in the water and the tank today, and will flush it tomorrow and re-test, says Wheeler.
Please note that this only affects people within Maintenance District 8A, which are the businesses and homes in “downtown” North Fork. People outside the village core need not worry.
Businesses that are not being allowed to prepare food, but are allowed to sell prepackaged items are Gas N Stuff, North Fork Supermarket, Pizza Factory, La Cabana, and Slims’s Koffee Shak. The Buckhorn has not been affected as they have their own well.
The staff at Environmental Health has contacted the property owners with a Boil Notice, and anticipate repeat samples coming back tomorrow, hopefully with good news.
We will update tomorrow as we learn more from Environmental Health.
Text of the Boil Notice issue on March 16, 2016: (thank you Sarah Rah)
BOIL WATER NOTICE
Boil your water before using. Failure to follow this advisory could result in stomach or intestinal illness.
Due to the routine test results showing coliform and e-coli presence, Madera County Environmental Health and MD8W [sic] North Fork Water System are advising residents of North Fork to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a SAFETY PRECAUTION.
Do not drink the water without boiling it first. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using. Or use bottled water.
Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking and food preparation until further notice.
Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. This is the preferred method to assure the water is safe to drink.
Optional alternative to include for prolonged situations where it fits.
An alternative method of purification for residents that do not have gas or electricity available is to use fresh liquid household bleach (Chlorox, Purex, etc). to do so, add 8 drops (or 1/4 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of clean water, or 16 drops (1/2 teaspoon) per gallon of cloudy water, mix thoroughly, and allow to stand for 30 minutes before using. A chlorine-like taste and odor will result from this purification procedure, and is an indication that adequate disinfection has taken place.
Water purification tablets may also be used by following the manufacturers instructions.
We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water.
We have just chlorinated the water system to aid in the disinfection of the contamination.
For more information call:
Water Utility contact: Madera Count Special Districts at (559) 675-7820
California Department of Health Services (559) 447-3300
Local Environmental Health Jurisdiction: Madera County at (559) 675-7823