IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — A boil water advisory remains in effect for parts of South Bay and Coronado’s Silver Strand.
California American Water issued the advisory after positive results of E. coli in a drinking water sample.
The advisory, according to County Board of Supervisor Chairwoman Nora Vargas, impacts more than 100,000 people in the county.
People living in Imperial Beach have been helping one another throughout the advisory. On Friday, many businesses were closed with signs posted that read about water issues.
The source of the bacteria remains unknown, according to the county.
“Right now, I’m driving around, I’m headed to the park to drop off more water for the kids, and if I see people in passing, I’ll stop and give them water too,” said Jarrod Caswell, who lives in Imperial Beach and founded the Imperial Beach shuttle service, IB Shuffling.
Caswell is adding a few more pit stops to his shuttle service. During the boil water advisory, the passenger seats are now being used to deliver water around town.
“I keep buying 18 gallons. So, I’ve gone to the store four times, 80 gallons I delivered, probably 15 cases so of water, but I’ve been doing this since 7 in the morning,” Caswell said.
Caswell said he is doing this with his own money and has spent more than $200 of bottled water for the community.
On Thursday, Cal American Water issued the boil water advisory after a drinking water sample tested positive for E. coli.
Cal American Water customers in Imperial Beach, Coronado’s Silver Strand south of Fiddlers Cove, plus portions of San Diego and Chula Vista are advised to use bottled or boiled water for cooking, drinking and even brushing their teeth.
Check to see if you live in the impacted area at American Water Works Service Company, Inc.
Cal American Water said on Friday they do not have any indication the water in their system is contaminated. However, Cal American Water said it is likely E. coli exists only at that testing site, where they pulled the drinking water sample from.
“We believe that it was externally right at the faucet where the water was taken. The likelihood of an emerging contaminate like E. coli of getting into the system is very unlikely,” said Brian Barreto, the Southern California External Affairs Manager for California American Water.
Martin Mattes, the owner of the Ye Old Plank Inn in Imperial Beach, says they closed their kitchen because the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Equality required them.
“Everybody is asking for food, because we can’t get food anywhere else,” Mattes answered. “So it’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich today.”
The bar can stay open but limited to self-contained containers. This means the Ye Old Plank Inn can only serve bottled or canned beer, bottled water and wine. The bar is also offering plastic cups for guests to drink their beverages to avoid using the tap to wash dishes.
“We got rid of all the ice in our bins that we use for drinks, and we got rid of all the ice in the ice machine,” Mattes said. “Normally this sink is full, and now it’s completely empty.”
Mattes even put bottled water in the bathroom for customers to wash their hands.
“We’ve turned off water to the sink, and we have hand sanitizer right here,” Mattes said.
Vargas said once the source is identified and repaired, the system will need to be flushed. Cal American Water will need two clean samples before the advisory can be lifted.