Fire damage takes a toll on the Hornbrook water system

Fire Season 2019: For the latest updates on fires buring in our region, go here: Fire Season 2019.

Update (07/11/18 4:15 p.m.) – Many homes in Hornbrook will soon have water once again, but the Hornbrook Community Service District said no one should drink it yet.

During the worst of the fire, charred debris, dirt, and ash dropped into the town’s water supply. One of its wells was completely destroyed.

The main tank has been cleaned, but it is being filled with non-potable water. The agency says that water will allow them to flush the system while giving homeowners water for toilets, and bathing.

For now, a “do not drink” order remains in effect.

 Original story: HORNBROOK, Calif. — Hornbrook workers hope to make necessary repairs to the local water system by this weekend.

The Hornbrook Community Services District has assessed the damage to the Hornbrook water system as a result of the Klamathon fire. According to the District, “The water system is currently empty due to the flow of water used through District fire hydrants and the lack of electrical power to operate the District wells to refill the system.” Electrical work, piping and well buildings were destroyed at one of the District’s three groundwater wells, and the roof of the District’s main water storage reservoir burned and collapsed.

Hornbrook CSD employees are working alongside Siskiyou County to remove debris from the reservoir. Once the remaining two wells are operable the system must be flushed of debris and sampled for bacteria and other potential contaminants. After power returns, it could take several days to flush the system and fill the empty pipes and water tanks to normal levels.

Water should only be used for sanitation, pet water and consumption after boiling per the boil water notice. The boil water order will remain in effect until the state grants approval to lift the order.

The CSD hopes to have water service restored by the end of the weekend. Once water service is restored the CSD urges residents to run home faucets only long enough to receive clear water. Residents should not use water from the system to wash cars, tend to plants or any other outdoor uses.

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