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Small community told their water might be contaminated

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jan 17 2014 01:23:22 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 17 2014 02:43:03 PM CST
PASKENTA, Calif. -

A boil water notice has been given to residents in a small town in Tehama County.
    
Paskenta is 30 minutes west of Corning, and this week's notice is warning everyone to not drink their tap water.
     
This is the second time within a  year residents in Paskenta have been told to either boil their tap water or drink bottled water.

65 people are receiving a notice from the Paskenta Community Service District.
     
"It made me question how I should bathe my children and take care of them.  I don't want to be a bad parent bathing my children in contaminated water," said Paskenta resident, Andrew Brown.
     
Brown received his letter Tuesday, but his landlord surprised him with the news.
     
"He comes with four gallons of water and gave it to us," said Brown.  "He said don't drink your water and two days later we get a notice in the mail."
     
Brown and his fiancé have two little girls and just had their third child on New Year's Eve.
     
They said their 4-year-old daughter, Serena, got a rash after they gave her a bath in the beginning of December, and their 2-year-old daughter, Sarah, got a rash on her feet.
     
They also noticed their wash towels changed colors.
     
"I was making my son's bottle for who knows how long it was contaminated for before we were notified," said Brown.

We used test strips to see how contaminated the water was at Brown's house.

The top marker of the strip measures the chlorine level.  It came up at zero.
 
However, the level of alkalinity was off the charts meaning there are minerals or chemicals in the water.
     
"It could be a buffer valve or something that could be linking in.  We still are not sure," said George Cannon, president of the Paskenta Community Service District.
     
Cannon said the water stopped flowing through the pipes on Saturday and believes it could be because of corrosion in the valves.
     
"The main thing is trying to have a precaution where we ask people to boil the water on a safety thing only," said Cannon.
     
Brown said he can't afford bottled water on top of paying his $850 for rent; a price that includes his water.
    
"Luckily the store owners at the Paskenta General Store, Steven A. Dean, gave us some water until we were able to go into town," said Brown.

The district said they have gotten all the parts to fix the valves, and it should be done by next Saturday.