Don't drink the water in the Del Monte area of Monterey, the Monterey County Health Department and California American Water announced this morning, Wednesday, July 8.
A water main break on Aguajito Road on Tuesday evening is the culprit, according to notifications from Monterey County and California American Water.
"Because the break caused a significant decrease in water pressure to customers in the area, a precautionary boil water advisory is being issued for water customers in the area," according to Cal Am's statement.
"Due to the low pressures experienced, the company will be taking bacteria samples throughout the affected area. Please note that this is a boil water advisory, not a boil water order. Boil water orders are only issued when/if contamination is confirmed through test results. This boil advisory is a precaution until test results are received."
Out of concern that it could lead to contaminated drinking water, local and state officials are advising people to either boil their tap water or use bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes until notified that it's safe.
It is safe to use tap water for bathing and hand-washing.
Cal Am officials said the problem could be fixed as early as today, but more likely the advisory will be in effect through Friday, July 10.
The areas affected include homes and facilities in the areas of Aguajito Oaks, Aguajito Road, Del Monte, Deer Flats, Fisherman's Flats, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey Peninsula College, La Mesa, the Fairgrounds, Oak Grove and Sylvan-Castro. Cal Am provided a map of the affected area in its emergency alert notice.
Drinking the water could lead to stomach or intestinal illness, the alert warns.
"We will inform you when tests show that water is safe to drink and you no longer need to boil your water," Cal Am's alert alert reads. "Although we anticipate restoring your water service today, the boil water advisory likely won’t be lifted until the end of the day on July 10."
The Centers for Disease Control advise that to make water safe to drink ,it should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute, allowed to cool and then stored in sanitary containers with tight covers.