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Parts of Imperial Beach, Coronado, Chula Vista and San Diego under boil water advisory due to E. coli contamination

Updated: August 26, 2023 at 7:03 PM PDT
California American Water has lifted a boil water advisory that was in place for its San Diego District. Customers can now consume and use their tap water normally, according to the San Diego County Environmental Health and Quality.

A water advisory was issued Thursday for the Silver Strand area of Coronado and Imperial Beach as well as parts of Chula Vista and the city of San Diego after E. coli was found in the drinking water system, according to the California Water Resources Board.

The advisory is impacting 106,000 people in the South Bay, San Diego County Supervisor Chair Nora Vargas said in press conference Friday.

Customers affected by this advisory include those within the City of Imperial Beach, the City of Coronado south of Fiddler’s Cove, and certain residents within the City of San Diego neighborhoods of Nestor and Otay. 


The presence of E. coli bacteria could mean the water is contaminated with human or animal waste, according to the San Diego County's Department of Environmental Health and Quality.

The county's Emergency Operations Center has been activated and a survey will go out to businesses to document the impact and follow up with support. Vargas said the cause of the contamination is still undetermined and only the service areas of Cal American Water are affected.

According to the alert from Cal American, contamination could occur due to increased runoff entering the drinking water source, most commonly after heavy rains which the region experienced earlier this week as a result of Tropical Storm Hilary. A break in the pipes could also introduce bacteria into the system, Cal American Water Company said.

To see a map of the impacted area, click here.

Residents impacted by the advisory should boil water for at least three minutes and let it cool before using it, county officials said. People are encouraged to use bottled water for drinking, brushing their teeth and food preparation until further notice.


The San Ysidro School District closed all its schools Friday due to the advisory, according to an email from the district.

The Chula Vista Elementary School District said in an email four district schools are impacted, and the district is taking "precautionary measures to ensure the safety of our students and staff."

The measures, the email said, include turning off the water (excluding the toilets); serving food that does not need to be rinsed or washed; and providing water bottles, hand sanitizer and portable hand washing stations.

Residents impacted by the advisory will be contacted by Cal American Water Company and be provided with additional information.

The county has reached out to 300 impacted food facilities and any food facility impacted by the advisory can call (858) 505-6900 for guidance on how to modify operations for safety.

Vargas said once the source of the issue is identified and repaired the system will need to be flushed and then two rounds of clean laboratory samples are needed before lifting the advisory.

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