Paradise residents advised to use bottled water only

    Myrtle Beach TheDigitel / CC BY 2.0

    The Paradise Irrigation District announced on Tuesday that the Paradise drinking water had been tested and found to be unsafe for drinking.

    Benzene was found in the drinking water, and it is believed this happened due to the plastics and other harmful materials drawn into the water system during the Camp Fire.

    Of the 30 chemicals the water was tested for, benzene was the only one found.

    According to a 1994 publication in Environmental Health Perspectives, benzene was said to be present in cigarette smoke, car emissions and was found to be carcinogenic in high concentrations.

    According to the Paradise Irrigation District, benzene can also cause anemia and a decrease in blood platelets.

    They also said that significantly more testing would be required to determine the overall damage to the water system.

    Paradise Irrigation District said that residents should use bottled water for all drinking, brushing teeth, making ice and food preparation. Animals should also not be allowed to drink tap water.

    Residents are also asked to limit their use of hot water, limit shower time and use lukewarm water in a ventilated area, wash clothing in cold water, do not take baths, do not use hot tubs or swimming pools and limit the use of water to clean up properties.

    Boiling the water will not make it safe to drink. The public is urged to report any unusual odors in the water supply to (530) 342-3401.

    Updates regarding the Paradise water systems can be found here.

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