State Water Board cites Poway for 'failure to protect its public water system'

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POWAY, Calif. — The City of Poway was officially cited by the State Water Resources Control Board after a problem with the city’s water system led to a week-long boil water advisory last month.

The citation, issued in a letter dated Jan. 15, said a water overflow drain that connects directly to a storm drain caused a failure on the city’s part to “provide pure, wholesome, healthful and potable water” and resulted in the delivery of untreated water to Poway residents.

The citation also questioned the city’s approach to communicating water quality issues to residents, saying statements made to the media “appeared to question the need for the extended boil water notice.”

“Communications contradicting or minimizing the boil water notice risked confusing the public about the public health impacts of the contamination,” the citation said.

District Engineer Sean Sterchi with the Water Resources Control Board said Poway would receive a bill in August charging the city for the time and resources spent by the State Water Board to prepare and enforce the citation.

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