Boil Water Notice!

Updated: March 8, 2019 4:50pm

 

3/8/19 - 4:40 p.m. - The water is safe!

 

Pace Laboratories in Salina completed analysis on the four water samples submitted yesterday following the KDHE Boil Order.

 

Samples came back negative—not showing any signs of bacterial contamination.

 

It is now safe to drink, cook, bathe wash clothes and dishes.

 

City staff thanks all our customers for your patience during this episode. We have a good idea what happened and now we are looking into why it happened.

 

Watch the local newspapers for more information.

 

More information from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment

 

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2:40 p.m. - UPDATE FROM CITY ADMINISTRATOR LARRY PAINE -

 

We are having questions about the 4 PM test results for the Boil Order. Here is what we expect.

   • 4 PM is the end of the incubation period for the bacterial test

   • Lab staff will examine the petri dish to see if any bacterial cultures are present. If found, we will have to take another sample and submit it for testing. Since it is a weekend, we do not know how that will occur.

   • If no cultures are found, the lab will fax them to the Salina KDHE office and Salina will make the determination whether the order remains or is rescinded.

 

Once we know something, we will be calling the press, posting the response on Facebook and our website. We will also have an announcement on the City Hall answering machine.

 

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March 7, 4:30 p.m. UPDATE FROM CITY ADMINISTRATOR LARRY PAINE: What we know now is the Telemetry system didn’t work properly. About 11:30 last night, the little tower stopped asking the pump to add water to the tower. By 7:30 AM water in the tank was gone and without water in the tank, we couldn’t distribute any water to customers. At the same time, the Peabody tower asked for water from their clear well and we didn’t have any capacity to send their way. When we were notified by customers that they had no water, we were able to put the pumps on manual and fill the water tower.

 

As the water crew went around checking the system, they were encouraged to see the high levels of chlorine (which in this case would be normal day to day levels). Those samples were taken to the KDHE Laboratory in Salina for testing. We will know about 4:00 PM tomorrow whether to continue the boil order another day. The Topeka KDHE Office will be the one that will rescind the order.

 

When office staff arrived,

   • We started calling everyone that needed water—USD 410, hospital, nursing homes, Tabor, grocery and convenience stores. We have a list of people to call.

   • We notified KDHE and voluntarily started boil order procedures. Later this Morning KDHE made that official.

   • We notified the press and I gave interviews to the two newspapers, I don’t think any other press contacted us.

   • We posted initial and follow up notices on Facebook and our website.

   • Once the KDHE order was received, we posted that order on Facebook and the website.

   • We printed and handed out 1100 flyers to customers throughout Hillsboro.

   • We answered many customer calls about what happened and what the extent of the problem

   • I communicated with Max Heinrichs about possible school closure for Friday

 

After we have the situation resolved, I will have an after action meeting next week to talk about things that went wrong, what we did right and how to address things for the future. - LP

 

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We experienced a telemetry problem at the small water tower this morning (March 7th). This resulted in a drop in water pressure below 20 psi (pounds per square inch) and several areas of town were without water service.

 

Water service has been restored, however, we need all customers to boil water that they intend to drink or use for cooking for the next 24 hours. The order will probably continue until bacteriological samples show there is no contamination.

 

Stand-by for more information as it becomes available.

 

Click on the documents to download the PDF.

 

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