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City of Downey, Public Water System Has Detected Levels of Coliform Bacteria Above the Drinking Water Standard

The City of Downey Public Works, Utilities Division routinely monitors for coliform bacteria. During the month of September 2018, our water system did not meet the requirements of the Total Coliform Rule. Although this is not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what you should do, what happened, and what we did to correct this situation.

We are required to monitor our water system for total coliform on a regular basis. Total coliform monitoring is used as an indicator of whether or not your drinking water meets drinking water standards. We collect a minimum of 100 monthly required samples to test for the presence of coliform bacteria in our water distribution system. In September 2018, 15.2 percent of those samples showed the presence of total coliform bacteria. The standard is that no more than 5.0 percent of samples may do so. During the dates mentioned above, coliform bacteria was present in samples collected from 7918 Dalen Street, Rundell Street between 7433 and 7466 Rundell Street, Nada Street between 7300 and 7320 Nada Street, Horley Avenue between 11526 and 11548 Horley Avenue, Cole Street between 7907 and 7930 Cole Street, Horton Avenue between 10617 and 10711 Horton Avenue, 12746 Glynn Avenue, and 9703 Parrot Avenue.

What should I do?

• You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions.

• This is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified immediately. Total coliform bacteria are generally not harmful themselves. Coliforms are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other; potentially-harmful, bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems.

• Usually, coliforms are a sign that there could be a problem with the system’s treatment or distribution system (pipes). Whenever we detect coliform bacteria in any sample, we do follow-up testing to see if other bacteria of greater concern, such as fecal coliform or E. coli, are present. We did not find any of these bacteria in our subsequent testing, and further testing shows that this problem has been resolved.

• People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from U.S. EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1(800) 426-4791.

• If you have other health issues concerning the consumption of this water, you may wish to consult your doctor.

What was done?

After the City was notified of the presence of total coliform bacteria, City staff immediately flushed the affected areas, disinfected affected pipelines, and collected additional samples. Final results of the testing demonstrated the absence of coliform bacteria. The situation has been resolved.

For more information, please contact the City of Downey Utilities Division, by phone at 562-904-7202, or by mail at 9252 Stewart & Gray Rd, Downey, CA 90241.

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 public notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

This notice is being provided by the City of Downey, Public Works-Utilities Division.

State Water System ID#: 1910034. Date distributed: 10/18/18.


Maria Alicia Duarte, CMC

City Clerk

The Downey Patriot