Emergency Hotline (209) 795-7030

What constitutes an Emergency?  If you see a major water leak or burst pipe in the road, on the pavement, or in any other place outside your home, please call the 24-hour Emergency Hotline at (209) 795-7030.

Anytime there is a situation that wastes water, this could become an emergency, but that doesn’t always mean that you should call the BLSMWC Emergency Hotline.  For non-emergencies, please call the Business Office at (209) 795-7025.  A non-emergency can include a wet spot that doesn’t dry on the road, pavement, or outside your home.  A non-emergency could also be a minor leak on a neighbor’s property and you are not able to reach the neighbor.

We have five, full-time employees who are available during business hours.  If you have an emergency after hours, please call the Emergency Hotline, (209) 795-7030.  This is a pager to the person on-call, who will get back to you as soon as possible.

The BLSMWC is not responsible for plumbing repairs within your home.  If you have a burst pipe inside your home, you will need to call a plumber as soon as possible.  It is always best to make sure you are using a licensed and insured plumber.

Emergency Preparedness

The Blue Lake Springs Mutual Water Company is prepared to protect its water from natural and man-made disasters.  Our employees are trained in emergency response activities and are committed to restore services as quickly as possible.  However, in times of emergency, it is possible that your water service could be temporarily disrupted.  What would you do?

Be Prepared

Assemble a “home disaster supply kit” to tide you over for at least three days. Of all the supplies, water may well be the single-most important item for survival.

Your disaster supply kit should contain a minimum three-day supply of water — at least one gallon per person per day.  A two-week supply is preferable. Additional supplies would be needed for pets.

Tap Water can be stored in clean, heavy, opaque, plastic bottles with screw-on caps.  The containers should be labeled by date and replaced every six months to ensure freshness.

Commercially bottled water can remain unopened in its original packing box.  It should be restocked after the expiration or “use by” date.

Hidden Sources of Water

If you run out of your stored water, there are some safe sources of water in the home that you may use without purifying:

  • Hot Water Heater – Turn off the gas/electric supply, let the tank cool, and shut off the main water valve to the house.  Let air into the tank by opening a hot water faucet or disconnecting the hot water line on top of the tank.  Then open the faucet at the bottom of the tank to drain water into a container.
  • Ice Cubes and Canned Foods – Melted ice cubes from your freezer are safe to drink.  Many canned foods come packed in water, like vegetables and beans, and this is also safe to drink.

Visit the Ready.gov website for additional recommendations for alternate emergency water sources.

How to Purify Water

After a major disaster, if you hear reports of broken water or sewer lines, it is not advisable to drink, bathe in, or wash anything with water directly from the tap.  However, if you run out of stored water or “hidden” sources of safe water in your home, you can purify water in several ways.

First, strain water through a clean cloth, handkerchief, paper towel, or paper coffee filter to remove debris or sediment.  Then, do one of the following:

  • Boil water rapidly for one minute — if you still have gas or electricity. This is the best option for emergency water purification.  Alternately, you can boil water on a camping stove or the barbecue.  Let it cool before drinking.
  • Use water purification tablets and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Mix unscented, liquid chlorine bleach to water and let it stand for 30 minutes.  Use 8 drops of bleach (1/8 teaspoon) per gallon of water for disinfection.

Your disaster supply kit should contain water purification tablets and/or unscented liquid chlorine bleach, along with a teaspoon or eye dropper.  Refer to the U.S. EPA website for more detailed information on emergency disinfection of drinking water.

Personal Care

In a major disaster, the sewer system may become damaged or inoperable, so you must also equip your disaster supply kit with items for sanitary use.  This should include a five-gallon plastic bucket with lid and plastic bag liners, ties, household bleach, large trash can with plastic liners, toilet paper, towelettes, soap, and other personal hygiene items.