Press Release

Date:  March 11, 2016

Water Quality Concerns for Boonville

The Anderson Valley Community Services District recently tested twenty-three private water wells around the Boonville area.  The results of their testing has shown twenty-one of the samples have some issues of contamination.  Coliform bacteria, E. coli and an indicator of fecal contamination were indicated.
Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Connie Caldwell states that, “Coliform bacteria are found in soil, on plants, and in water. These bacteria typically do not make you sick but may indicate the presence of other more harmful germs. Fecal coliform bacteria, such as E. coli, are a specific kind of bacteria. These are also usually harmless, but may mean that feces and harmful germs have found their way into your water system and can cause diarrhea.”

Dr. Caldwell also explains that “The presence of nitrates in groundwater is generally associated with septic system and fertilizer use. Nitrates pose the greatest risk to infants. Although boiling water before consumption can mitigate the threat of bacteria, it often increases the concentration of nitrates. Families with young children should avoid making infant formula with water that contains high levels of nitrates or bacteria.”

Those concerned about the quality of their well water may wish to have their water tested independently.  This test can be done by Alpha Analytical Laboratories of Ukiah.  Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) have made available sampling kits and instructions from Alpha Labs at the Boonville Fire Department for residents to access.  The water samples must be taken to Alpha Laboratories in Ukiah at 208 Mason Street on the same day they are collected.  Alpha Lab’s cost to test for bacteria is $37.00 and for nitrates is $35.00 and is payable to them. If you are unable to transport your completed water sample to Ukiah, HHSA may be able to help you.  Please contact Dave Jensen at 707-234-6625.

Water quality at restaurants, hotels and other commercial venues that serve the public are routinely tested during the County’s regular inspection of those facilities.

Dan Hamburg, Supervisor of the 5th District, has actively been working with County staff upon hearing the results of the Boonville water tests.  The goal of Supervisor Hamburg and the County is to assist the residents of Boonville by providing information and education on safe water.

Information packets, including fact sheets, water system disinfection instructions and ways to protect your private water system are available at the Boonville Fire Department and can also be requested from HHSA Environmental Health by calling 707-234-6625 (Ukiah) or 707-961-2714 (Fort Bragg) or by visiting The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board in Santa Rosa is also a resource of information for local residents.  They can be reached at 707-576-2220.

Water Quality Concerns for Boonville