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Paradise Water Testing Reveals Contaminants

A test of the water in Paradise by the Paradise Irrigation District revealed the presence of Benzene in some areas.

Posted: Jan 8, 2019 12:32 PM
Updated: Jan 8, 2019 4:37 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - A test of the water in Paradise by the Paradise Irrigation District revealed the presence of Benzene in some areas.

Until a thorough investigation is complete, the department urges the public to promptly report noticeable odors or smells and to continue using bottled water only for drinking, cooking and brushing teeth.

The district as well as the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water, recently tested Paradise's drinking water for Benzene and 29 other federal and state-regulated organic chemicals. 

They believe that the Benzene contamination occurred when burning plastics, smoke, soot and ash were drawn into the water system during the Camp Fire. No other chemicals tested were found in the samples. 

The test results fluctuated from non-detectible levels of benzene to levels above the allowable regulatory limit for drinking water, which can cause health risks. 

The Paradise Irrigation District said that it is confident it can restore high-quality drinking water, but it will take time. The department is working with the Division of Drinking Water to conduct investigations and develop a Water Quality Testing and Restoration Plan. 

The department urges residents to not drink tap water and to only drink bottled water. Bottled water should be used for:

  • All drinking (including baby formula and juice) 

  • Brushing teeth 

  • Making ice 

  • Food preparation

They also advise residents to adhere to the following: 

  • Do not allow pets or livestock to consume tap water 

  • Limit use of hot water

  • Limit shower time (use lukewarm water and ventilate area) 

  • Use a dishwasher to wash dishes and use the air-dry setting 

  • Wash clothing in cold water 

  • Do not take baths 

  • Do not use hot tubs or swimming pools 

  • Limit use of water for clean-up of properties 

To report noticeable odors or smells in the water supply, call (530) 342-3401. 

Updates regarding the restoration plan can be found HERE

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