Tustin residents get muddy surprise from home taps

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Residents in a Tustin neighborhood were surprised and concerned to find the water from their home taps looking dirty. (KABC)

Jenni Johnson got a muddy surprise when she tried to take a shower.

"As soon as I turned it on, within about five seconds, the bottom of the tub just started filling with dirt, so I immediately shut it off," said the Tustin resident.

She's not alone. Johnson's neighbor took photos after she ran a bath for her baby. She says a load of laundry also came out gritty. Both live in Old Town Tustin.

"I called the city to tell them and ask for guidance, but they just said they're aware of the problem and that they're not sure what to tell me right now," said Johnson.

City officials say the dirt is actually sand that backed up after a power outage at one of the city's groundwater wells. The well serves about 1,400 homes in Old Town Tustin.

"Once we found out there was a problem, we switched over to another well," said city of Tustin spokesperson Stephanie Najera.

Officials say the problem went unnoticed for a couple of hours. The first complaint came in Monday around 8 a.m.

"If they do know this is happening, send out warnings. Send out messages to tell us what to do," said Johnson.

The city says it did not notify residents, but responded to about a dozen complaints where they flushed the homes' water pipes. Officials say there's no health risk, even for people who may not have noticed the problem.

"Wells that obtained their water from ground water, they all experience sand. It's natural, there's no bacteria, they're all tested. It's very safe," said Najera.

If homeowners still notice sand when they run their water, they should call Tustin's Public Works Dept at (714) 549-6913.
Related Topics:
homewaterTustinOrange County
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