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Water Quality Investigation Update


(This release is for Paradise only and does not include information for Magalia residents)

PID takes 54 water samples on the Skyway business corridor

Paradise Irrigation District staff took 54 more water samples yesterday; all on Skyway, as the water quality investigation in Paradise continues. The sample were taken along almost 12 miles of pipeline stretching from the bottom of Paradise at the Crossroads to where Skyway meets Clark Road at the 9100 block.

The Skyway water samples will be tested by a state-approved laboratory for benzene, a state-regulated organic chemical. These results will provide the District with information it needs to develop its strategy for identifying and removing potential contaminants introduced as a result of the devastating Camp Fire.

The Skyway test results will tell us how to proceed to ensure safe water for businesses & restaurants

Plan A (If all samples show a non-detect for benzene).

If all the Skyway samples show no sign of benzene the District will continue testing to ensure water stays safe to drink. District staff will widen the sampling area to test for contaminants  and will be working with the State Division of Drinking water to drop the do-not-drink order for sections of Skyway as restrictions are lifted for each pressure zone.

Plan B (If any samples come back showing benzene above the state maximum contaminant level (MCL))

If any of the Skyway samples come back showing any sign of benzene on Skyway, PID will take even more samples closer together to find the contamination. Once crews find the affected area, they’ll begin the work of eliminating any contamination and repeat the testing / eliminating process until all contamination is removed. 

Next Steps

A-Zone Pilot Testing Area

District crews are preparing now to perform similar testing in the District’s top pressure zone – A-Zone (see zone map below). Crews are working now to prepare and isolate possibly hundreds of test sites north of Wagstaff. It may take two weeks to prepare the entire zone for testing. Once isolated, the water will need to sit in each sample site for 72 hours to give any benzene an opportunity to leech into the water. Testing will be performed after this rest period and the District anticipates having a complete set of sample results for A-Zone by March 1, 2019.

We will have more answers on what to do for the rest of the zones after we get the results from A-Zone samples. This “pilot” testing area has many different types of pipe material installed over a span of several decades. District staff feels strongly that answers to many of our questions on how to proceed with ensuring safe water for all of Paradise will be found as a result of the A-Zone investigation. The District has a tentative plan to work through each pressure zone, starting with A-Zone and moving southwest through Paradise to find, clean and remove any potential contamination.

zonesZone Map

We ask for your patience as we gather investigation results over the next month. The District is committed to sharing the results of the investigation, our plan for response, the progress we make as we go, and our successes in restoring water quality with our customers in a transparent and informative manner.

Until a thorough investigation is complete, we urge the public to promptly report any noticeable odors or smells in the water supply to (530) 342-3101. And to continue to use bottled water only for drinking, cooking and brushing teeth. The health and safety of our customers is of utmost concern for the District, we highly recommend the following:

DO NOT drink your tap water. ONLY use bottled water. Bottled water should be used for:

  • all drinking (including baby formula and juice),
  • brushing teeth,
  • making ice,
  • and food preparation.

DO NOT try and treat the water yourself. Because of the nature of the potential water contamination, boiling or disinfecting your water will not make it safe to drink.


  • Do not allow pets or livestock to consume tap water.
  • Limit use of hot water. 
  • Limit shower time (use lukewarm water and ventilate area).
  • Use a dishwasher to wash dishes and use air dry setting. 
  • Wash clothing in cold water. 
  • Do not take baths. 
  • Do not use hot tubs or swimming pools.

Limit use of water for clean-up of properties and follow Butte County recommendations for protective clothing when on property (
Important updates on water quality testing, water advisories for PID customers, processes regarding your meter and service, as well as important steps to take once we turn the system back on, can all be found at:
• Facebook @PIDWater
• Office Phone: 530-342-3101


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