Water customers in Tumalo under boil advisory

Test results expected back Tuesday morning after break in water main

by Kailey Fisicaro, originally posted on Decembeer 5, 2016


Customers of Laidlaw Water District in Tumalo are on notice to boil water after a main waterline broke over the weekend.

The 127-user district is expected to get results back this morning on whether the water is declared safe to consume.

The break in the line occurred along Tumalo Road, about half a mile east of Tumalo, and likely resulted from a movement in the earth, according to the water district’s manager, Dale Peer.

Since the break occurred in the lowest point of the system, it’s unlikely contamination occurred, Peer said. But to be safe, the district delivered notices to boil water to its users. The district advised to boil water for consumption, but the water is safe for bathing.

Peer guessed the break happened either Friday night or Saturday morning. The district discovered the break Saturday and delivered the notices by 3 p.m. that day, Peer said.

But because no one was at Tumalo Community School, a teacher didn’t discover the notice until Sunday evening. At that point, Redmond School District sent out notice to families.

Kelly Jenkins, the school district’s communications coordinator, said families were alerted at about 8 p.m. Sunday there would be no school Monday.

The school district planned to open Tumalo Community School again Tuesday. EartH2O, a Culver-based bottled water company, pledged to donate bottled water for the school, and Jenkins said alternate hand-washing stations would be set up.

A break in a water main isn’t uncommon, Peer said, although Laidlaw Water District has never had a break in its 40 years. The city of La Pine’s main waterline broke last year, prompting a boil advisory, after a vehicle hit a hydrant near the city’s wells and main water storage tank.

Laidlaw Water District isolated the break within the first hour of the discovering the problem. Peer couldn’t yet estimate what the cost will be to fix the break. It will likely be somewhat of a burden for the small district, but that’s what the rainy day fund is for, Peer said.

“We’ve been saving for the last 40 years,” Peer said.

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