Water again flowing through taps in Pescadero

August 24, 2011 6:46:09 PM PDT
Water is again coming out of the taps in a coastal San Mateo County town, but people will have to keep boiling it until they get the all-clear.

Service was restored earlier today in Pescadero. Now a lot of people are asking why the county didn't notice the first signs of a problem much sooner.

It's recommended that communities have three days worth of a water supply for emergencies. It appears that Pescadero did have it. What they didn't know was that the pump that pulled the water from the well had malfunctioned. So when the water ran out on Monday, it was a big surprise.

On Wednesday, the water began flowing again, but officially, at least, the danger has not passed.

People cannot drink the water until they get the all clear. That doesn't mean all clear like you can see through it, but rather a verbal all clear from the county that it's safe for human consumption.

"It could indeed be a few days," said Greg Bonaparte.

Bonaparte serves on the council that represents Prescadero to the county of San Mateo.

Waiting for that all clear would mean a few more days of closed restaurants and businesses losing money.

"We're losing a lot. We're pretty busy on a Wednesday," said resident Mindy Simms, who works at a restaurant.

Little did Pescadero residents know that their problem began last week, when a county pump stopped pulling water from a well. By Monday, the town's reserve had ran dry. What galls residents the most is that the system never warned them due to a lack of maintenance.

"Certainly they should have been more diligent in keeping in keeping a viable set of maintenance rules, schedule, etc., and they didn't, and that's what caused the problem," said Bonaparte.

Yes, the county did ship in 900 gallons of water Tuesday night and yes, it has repaired the pump and yes, it promises improvements.

However, Pescadero resident Pete Congdon believes it's something else.

"It's neglect. Pure and simple, it's neglect and the lack of the county not being focused on this community and their needs," said Congdon.

Residents say it's too little, too late. Members of the community will have a meeting next week about the well. They plan to put in a better system with better maintenance and an alarm system. The new alarm system will not only ring in county offices, but also in Pescadero and warn the people that would be most affected by it.


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