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Temporary treatment change for Five Cities water customers

Water customers in the Five Cities area of San Luis Obispo County will notice, or smell, a change in their tap water starting Monday, October 29, part of the county’s annual maintenance of the water treatment facility and distribution system that serves the area.

At the popular CJ’s Cafe on Grand Avenue in Arroyo Grande, drinking water and water for ice for the customers has always been filtered.

“Yep, it just tastes better”, says CJ’s owner Kathy Essen.

Water customers in Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Oceano, Pismo Beach, Avila Beach and Port San Luis will be impacted by the three week maintenance program that will see the disinfectant used to treat drinking water changed from a blended chlorine to a free chlorine.

The county says it’s a common practice in the water treatment industry in order to clean facilities and distribution systems to protect against harmful bacteria.

While many customers won’t notice any difference, the county says others may notice an odor similar to a swimming pool.

“If it’s healthy and clean, I will breathe the other way”, said local water customer Susie Pursley about the temporary water treatment change.

Other local water customers we spoke with say they stopped drinking unfiltered tap water years ago.

“I never drink the water, ever”, said customer Tim Wilson, “if you do a filter thing, there’s all kinds of crud in there no matter what water comes out of there, there’s crud in lots of it.”

“I did as a kid”, said CJ’s Cafe owner Kathy Essen, “but you know over the years you just start hearing things and moved away from that and drink either filtered water or bottled water if I’m out somewhere.”

San Luis Obispo County says during the three week treatment change and maintenance program, tap water in the Five Cities area will remain safe to drink by all federal and state drinking water standards.

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