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PARADISE, Calif. -- Structural safety is not the only concern for residents returning to homes in Butte County. Now that Camp Fire evacuations have been lifted, the Paradise Irrigation District is working to test water safety.
"Wildland Fires have the potential to cause certain contaminants to be present within communities that have been impacted," PID said in a release to customers. "The District, along with the CA Division of Drinking Water, has taken water samples that will be tested by a state certified laboratory for possible contaminants that may have been introduced into the water system as a result of the Camp Fire."
The water quality tests can take up to two weeks for results. In the meantime, residents should use only bottled water for the following:
- All drinking water (including with baby formula)
- Pets and livestock
- Food preparation
- Brushing teeth
- Making ice
"DO NOT try and treat the water yourself," PID said in the release to customers. "Because of the nature of the potential water contamination, boiling or disinfecting your water will not make it safe to drink."
When using the water for household chores, the district urges customers to limit their use of hot water and, when showering, use lukewarm water in a ventilated room. The district also issued the following water usage warnings:
- Do not take baths
- Do not use hot tubs or swimming pools
- Use a dishwasher to wash dishes and use air dry setting
- Wash clothing in cold water
Anyone who notices smells similar to plastic, gasoline, or vinyl in their water is asked to report the problem to the water company immediately. The Del Oro Water Company can be reached at 530-809-3971 and the Paradise Irrigation District can be reached at both 530-877-4971 and 530-342-3101.
The District will share the test results with customers as soon as they are complete and will then update the advisory.
PID also said residents should limit the use of water for cleaning up properties and follow the Butte County recommendations for protective clothing when on properties.
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