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POWAY, Calif. – Poway residents and business owners who were impacted by a boil water advisory will be reimbursed for the week they were unable to use their tap water.

Poway city councilmembers voted 4-1 to approve to a one-time credit on approximately 14,000 customers’ water bills. 

The State Water Resources Control Board cited the City of Poway after a piece of rope was discovered clogging a valve in the drainage system meant to separate the storm drain from the reservoir.

The credit will equal one eighth of customers’ bi-monthly bill. Most households would receive between $10 and $50.

“This is the political equivalent of lipstick on a pig,” one Poway resident said during public comment.

“Nobody is going to get rich on the amount of money that they get back, but I think really it’s us recognizing that it was a tough week for some folks,” Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, told FOX 5. “It’s an opportunity to do right by the people that we work for.”

Roughly 200 Poway restaurants were forced to shut down during the last days of November and beginning of December. Some businesses and residents filed claims against the city.

“There’s a process in place where businesses can file a claim with the city and we have an insurance company that handles that,” Vaus said.  “I feel very confident if someone has a valid claim, it’s going to get paid.”

The reimbursements will cost the city up to $420,000 from the General Fund’s Extreme Events/Public Safety Reserve, according to city staff.

Customers can expect see the credit on their March and April water bills.