Coliform bacteria found in Downey water

Failure to follow this advisory could result in stomach or intestinal illness.

As part of the City's weekly water quality testing program, the City has found total coliform bacteria in the distribution system. As a precautionary measure the California Department of Public Health in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Health Department, and City of Downey Utilities Division Water System are advising residents of Downey, California to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a safety precaution.

Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one (1) 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 and is the preferred method to ensure that the water is safe to drink.

  • An alternative method of purification for residents that do not have gas or electricity available is to use fresh liquid household bleach (Clorox(R), Purex(R), etc.). To do so, add 8 drops (or 1/4 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of clear water or 16 drops (or 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 manufacturer's instructions.
We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate resolving the problem within three (3) calendar days.

For more information call:
Water Utility contact: Louis A. Atwell, Deputy Director of Public Works, (562) 448-8936, 11111 Brookshire Avenue, Downey, CA 90241-7016.
California Department of Public Health -- Drinking Water Field Operations Branch- District Office at (213) 580-5723.
Local Environmental Health Jurisdiction: Los Angeles County at (626) 430-5420.
Additional information may be found at the City's Web site

Please share this information with all 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 notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

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