Residents in the Dos Palos area now have running water again. The city shut off the water for a second time on Sunday morning to make repairs to its filtration system. It was turned back on around 8 p.m. Sunday night. Many residents are glad to have the water back on after spending nearly nine hours without it.
Crowds drew lines outside the Dos Palos Police Station, hoping to get their hands on bottled water. "All day, no bath, can't cook... it's just hard," said Dos Palos resident Synell Bland as she showed Action News the dirty dishes that have piled up in her sink.
The city advised restaurants to close for the day. Some did, but some like Butch's drive-in decided to stay open. The restaurant bought 65 gallons of bottled water to make through their day, and it wasn't easy. "We're using that to wash dishes, flush toilets wash hands, keep everything sanitary," said Guy Anderson.
Many people took to the grocery stores. At State Food Supermarket, employees couldn't restock bottled waters fast enough. Shelves were nearly bare.
"They take like 6 of them already and they'll take different brands... they don't care anymore. They'll grab any kind," said one cashier.
The water problems are all because the city's water filtration system needs replacing. Police Chief Barry Mann says the exact problem requires a technical answer but in short the problem lies with the systems age.
"This is crazy. Last night I was getting ready to brush my teeth there was no water. I didn't know what to do," said Jamie Rocha, Dos Palos resident.
Inside the Dos Palos Water Treatment Plant, crews are hard at work fixing the problem. The exact problem requires a very technical explanation, but Police Chief Barry Mann said the issue is the system can't filter the water properly. "We're not able to produce enough water though those filtration systems to meet the demands of our users."
The city had the water back on Sunday night, but it will take several more days to get the Dos Palos water filtration system working properly. When all is said and done, the city estimates it will cost about two to three-hundred thousand dollars.
"We're talking to other companies to come assist to get a storage capacity which will allow us to do maintenance on the filtration system," said Barry Mann.
The city is asking residents to boil the water for at least one minute. That also goes for any water that residents may have gotten this morning.
The city also understands many residents were caught off guard. They are asking everyone sign up for the city's emergency alerts for future situations like these.