Hundreds Of San Diego Restaurants Forced To Close Due To E. Coli Contamination Of Public Water

August 24, 2023

Hundreds of restaurants, bars and other businesses in San Diego's South County have been forced to close after E.coli contaminants were found in public drinking water. 

California Water Resources Board issued a boil water advisory for many areas of San Diego's South County after E.coli contaminants were found in a public water system on Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach. The areas affected include Cal America Water Company customers in Imperial Beach, and Coronado south of Fiddlers, as well as parts of San Diego, Chula Vista, and San Ysidro. 

The San Diego County emergency services response team believes more than 100,000 San Diego County residents and 17,000 water lines are affected by the advisory. Health officials believe the water could be contaminated with human or animal waste. Due to the boil water advisory notice, CalAm is providing one case of water for residents impacted, which an be picked up at California American Water Operation Center at 1025 Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. California-American Water is investigating the source of the contamination and will work with the County to ensure residents are updated.

Although most California American Water customers that reside in the affected areas are told to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes, restaurants in the listed regions must immediately discontinue operations. An estimated 300 food facilities are impacted by the issue. The advisory is in effect from August 24 at 8pm until August 27 at 11am, at the earliest.

Environmental Health and Quality inspectors are reaching out to make sure the 300 impacted food facilities and restaurants are aware that it’s unsafe to prepare food, wash dishes and hands with E. coli contaminated water, and Public Health Services is notifying impacted healthcare facilities. In addition, the Office of Emergency Services posted a survey for affected businesses to determine the financial impact of the advisory.

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