Water Boil Advisory in Effect at Beale Air Force Base

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A water boil advisory is in effect at Beale AirForce Base.

Every Tuesday, Senior Airman Ashley Davis and her colleagues check the water at Beale Air Force Base.

"PH should be from 6.5 to 8.5,” Davis said.

But this Tuesday, the numbers were off.

Her team found water samples that tested positive for coliform. While the bacteria is -- for the most part -- harmless to people, it may cause upset stomach, fever or diarrhea.

"Though the risk is really low, our focus is on not getting anybody potentially sick,” said Col. Paul Gourley, Commander of the 9th Medical Group.

Katelyn Johnson's husband works at one of the restaurants on base. He comes into contact with water every day, including the soda machines.

“I'm concerned because he works, and other people are working, and one of the biggest things that people get talked about in the workplace is safety and sanitary,” Johnson said.

"At first the advisory was out for the entire base. But after testing several locations, they were able to narrow it down to just the housing area."

Base staff has issued a water boil advisory, and notified the 1,700 residents and visitors to not use water from the tap water to drink, feed pets, make coffee, make ice or brush teeth with.

They also say to be careful when washing dishes, showering, shaving and doing the laundry. Many visitors of the base wonder what caused such an outbreak.

"Could it be because of all the storms and the systems got overwhelmed? That's the only thing that went through my mind,” William Rutter said. He visits his son frequently at the base.

"Most of the time it's caused by stagnant water that's sitting in a system, meaning water is not moving in the volume it needs to and then coliforms form," Col. Paul Gourley said.

Civil engineers and the bio-environmental team are working to flush out and test the bacteria several times a day, until tests return to normal.

The boil water advisory does not affect surrounding cities, such as Marysville or Yuba City.

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