Freeport Residents Instructed to Boil Water or Face Serious Illness

FREEPORT -- The warning doesn't say what's in the water, but it does say that water must be boiled for at least a minute before being consumed or it may cause stomach or intestinal illness.

"I had already brushed my teeth, drank water and coffee and everything else that morning," said Pat Jenks, one of the residents who got the notice. "And, you know, it just kind of scared us."

Jenks says she and her neighbors at Freeport RV Park got the boil notice Wednesday. She's still got a few gallons of water left in the tank of her mobile home. Once that's gone, she says she'll have to boil it or bring it in.

"I can't even put water in my dog's water bowl," Jenks said. "I had to use special water for the humming birds that are flying around us."

A spokesperson for Sacramento County said the RV park is on a private well, and by law water from that well has to be tested once a month. This month's test came up positive for dangerous bacteria, the spokesperson said.

With all the rain, it's not an uncommon scenario. Flooding or even just saturated groundwater gets over the top of the well head, and the bacteria gets in.

And it's not just the RV park affected.

The Freeport Bar and Grill is a local favorite, but has had to close its doors because they don't have clean water to use.

"I came here and it was closed. What's going on?" one customer said after being turned away at the door.

The well is being treated with chlorine to kill the contaminants, but right now it's unclear how long until the water will run clean.

"Meantime, I guess I'll just shower with dirty water," Jenks said.