Isla Vista residents can drink the brown water that will trickle slowly from their taps this week, but the Goleta Water District has recommended against washing clothes while the water retains its unusual hue.
Mike Kanno, operations manager for the water district, said routine cleaning of water mains in Goleta might create slight water discoloration and low water pressure in Isla Vista. Kanno said the maintenance — which began Feb. 6 and will continue through Feb. 11 on all mains west of Los Carneros Road, including I.V. up to the Bacara Resort & Spa — will take place between 8 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. and said the cleaning will not affect the safety of the water, despite any possible abnormalities in water color.
“This is disinfected water which is bacterially safe and safe to drink,” Kanno said. “However, people might experience low water pressure.”
Kanno said that there will probably be a slight discoloration of the water, which might be tinted light brown, but said water quality would improve after the maintenance was completed.
“This is purely a visual thing for the colored water, and taste and odor will not be affected,” Kanno said.
Because of the discoloration, however, he said he advises residents to avoid doing laundry during the maintenance to avoid any potential staining.
During the maintenance, Kanno said, workers will flush water from fire hydrants, producing high-pressure flow through the pipelines to wash out any accumulated sediment, including loose minerals and rust. He said residents might hear a loud clanging noise during the maintenance caused by gate work keys, which operate water valves below street level.
Kanno said he expects maintenance in I.V. to take longer than it has in other areas of Goleta due to the area’s more intricate water main setup. He said it might be several days before the water returns to normal after the process begins Monday night.
“With I.V. being extensive, it might take a while,” Kanno said. “The more complex the water system, the longer it will take.”
The cleaning process for all of Goleta, Kanno said, began Jan. 23. He said the water district has been performing the maintenance by sectors throughout the city and said he expects the Goleta-wide maintenance to last six more weeks.