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South Coast Water System Hit By Contamination Issue Back Online


It was a startling discovery for more than a thousand Ventura County residents. They discovered the water they relied on is contaminated, and they could no longer use what was coming from their taps.  But, thanks to some emergency efforts, service has been restored.

El Rio is a tiny community just north of Highway 101, next to Oxnard. The Vineyards Avenue Acres Mutual Water Company, a tiny mom and pop water company, serves the hundreds of homes and businesses in the community. But, state experts say the level of nitrates in the water reach unsafe levels, prompting the May 10th order which started the scramble.

A neighboring water agency stepped up to help.  Mauricio Guardado is General Manager of the United Water Conservation District. He says they had to scramble, but once they got the go-ahead they had a replacement water supply online for the community in a matter of hours.

The source of the nitrate pollution is a question mark. Nitrate issues have been associated with septic systems and with agricultural fertilizers.

But, the more immediate question is about how the Vineyard Avenue Acres agency will serve its customers. United Water’s general manager says there may be a couple of options, including lining up backup water sources from neighboring agecies.

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