Water company and Magalia locals react to benzene concerns

Del Oro Water Company officials said they do not have a problem with benzene in their water, and explain why. Recent online publications have stated that the company's water is unsafe.

Posted: Jul 20, 2019 11:56 AM
Updated: Jul 20, 2019 7:25 PM

UPDATE 7:02 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 2019 - CLICK HERE for a link to the online article concerning benzene in water provided by Del Oro Water Company.

Action News Now reporter Christina Vitale said she reached out to Julie Jenks who posted the online story on the Camp Fire Zone Project webpage. Jenks told Christina that she was shocked that the Del Oro Water Company told Action News Now that there was no benzene problem in the water system.

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MAGALIA, Calif. – An online article that stated benzene has been found in water used by the Del Oro Water Company in Butte County is not true, according to company officials.

Action News Now reporter Christina Vitale investigated concerns about the contaminated water at Del Oro, which has scared some residents of Magalia, Paradise Pines and Lime Saddle who are the water district customers.

Del Oro Water Company officials said on Friday that their water is safe.

Magalia resident Barron Brazil told Action News Now he has seen a lot of progress and appears satisfied with the company’s efforts.

Del Oro Water Company official said multiple people called them on Friday about the article and associated water safety concerns.

Janice Hannah, a director of the Del Oro Water Company, explained that firefighters used their water during the Camp Fire. That meant the water kept flowing through the pipes, immediately flushing their system. Hannah said that is one reason why Del Oro does not have benzene in its water lines.

Some people in Magalia are not taking any chances. Ann Frandsen has lived in Magalia for 20 years. She said, “I just drink filtered water - Brita water -- and I give my dog the same thing. He has his own pitcher.”

When asked about other water uses, Frandsen said she does not boil water for washing her dishes or showering, but does boil it before cooking.

Barron Brazil of Magalia said “I just won’t drink it. We don’t give it to our pets. I just don’t trust it, so bottled water is fine with me.”

Watch the video to hear from more Magalia residents who weighed in with Action News Now about the water quality and concerns.

Del Oro Water Company officials state they will continue to test the water in the fire zone. They also said as old meters are replaced they will conduct tests at individual home sites prior to the installation of new meters.

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