KDHE boil water advisory stays in effect

originally posted on December 27, 2016


The boil water advisory issued by Kansas Department of Health and Environment last week remains in effect until further notice.

Cassandra Edson, public information officer for Wilson County Health Department, said in a statement that according to Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 23, it is expected to be mid-week at the earliest for the orders to be rescinded, depending on water quality test results.

The KDHE issued the boil water advisories for the cities and water districts served by Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 23 because of excessive turbidity in the water.

Todd Thompson, representing the wholesale water district, further explained to Edson that the specific problem in this incident was an unusually high level of manganese from the river, which clogged the water plant’s filtration system, allowing some of the sediment to enter the water system.

Manganese is a naturally occurring mineral that by itself does not pose a health risk in these relatively low concentrations, and in fact, is an essential nutrient for humans. However, high turbidity can at times result in a loss of chlorine residual, which has the potential to allow bacterial growth and contamination.

However, Edson said, the good news is that water district has maintained an appropriate chlorine residual level despite the unwanted sediment. Therefore, it is expected that the required water testing will have favorable results, allowing for the advisory to be rescinded. However, until acceptable test results are official and the advisory is rescinded, KDHE advises that residents continue to boil water for a minute before consuming.

Some residents have noticed that their water is discolored from the sediment. This can stain clothes, so residents might want to postpone doing laundry until the water lines are flushed and back to normal. Water filters will generally remove minerals from water, but it is important to know that although this may make water look more appetizing and taste better, it is still important to follow the boil advisory in order to be sure that water is sanitized and safe to drink.

Public Wholesale Water District No. 23 supplies water to Altoona; Fredonia; Buffalo; Thayer; Coal Hollow Water Company; Fall River; Neosho County Rural Water District Nos. 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 12; Gales-burg; Wilson County Rural Water District Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11 and 13; and Montgomery County Rural Water District No. 9.

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