Hundreds of Alameda residents warned to not use water

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of Alameda residents have been warned to not use the tap water in their homes until further notice due to a drop in quality levels, according to city officials.

The health advisory impacts 267 homes, and more than 60 businesses in the Alameda Point neighborhood which sits on the lands of the former Naval Air Station, west of Main St.

"It had a really foul taste," says Diana Hurwitz, an Alameda Point resident who noticed some changes to her tap water over the weekend. "It was clear, it didn't have any clouds in it, but it tasted really bad."
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Drinking tap water is off limits for people living at Alameda Point. Right now, bottled water is being distributed to residents as the city works to fix the problem.

East Bay MUD officials are trying to determine the exact cause of the issue, and says it may have something to with a leak from irrigation line fed by an old well that cross-connects with the utility's water supply. Latest tests show higher-than-average levels of salt and minerals.

"Our water pipes here, it's a separate system then for the rest of Alameda," says Liam Garland, acting director of the city's public works department. "The advisory we have to not drink water is specific to Alameda Point."

Volunteers will be on West Ranger Ave. throughout the day to distribute free bottled water to impacted residents.

"It was after we showered that we noticed it because we stunk," says Jeff Roper, Alameda Point resident. "We don't usually smell after taking a shower so we know there's something wrong with the water."

Although water quality is improving at Alameda Point, according to city officials, residents are also advised to avoid allowing their pets to drink or bathe using water from the water.

Doug Biggs, Alameda Point Collaborative executive director, says his team is looking at bringing in additional food and water, as well as portable showers for those affected.

"We have people with severe disabilities and different issues they have to confront," Biggs said. "It's a challenging time for our residents."

The city hopes to lift the advisory by the end of the week.

Click here for updates from the city of Alameda.

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