Well and computer communication problem leads to boil order while water tower is empty for painting, even though system’s pressure was back up within minutes.
By Jan Rahn
When Grant’s main well and its computer had a communication problem last week, administration and employees scrambled to fix the glitch. In less than a half-hour, everything was back to normal—except that in order to follow state guidelines, a “boil order” was issued.
The city posted notices, hand delivered notices to the hospital, doctors, food service establishments, and utilized the CodeRED system through the Perkins County Sheriff’s Office.
Harris explained that the reason for the boil order was because the water system’s pressure dropped too low. The reason pressure dropped too low was because the water tower is empty while it is being painted, and the well shut down unexpectedly.
The drop in pressure happened when the well went down around 8:45 a.m. Thursday because of the computer communication problem. Had the water tower been full, it would have taken a few hours for the pressure to drop below critical levels.
The problem was addressed immediately by a local electrician and public works employees, however, because of the state’s requirements, the boil order had to be issued.
Testing of the city’s water has taken place over the course of a few days, with the final report due back this week.
At press time, the final results were not in, however, the system is probably fine.
“We test water all the time,” said Harris, “an average of three times a month.” “I am confident in Grant’s water quality,” said Harris. “I want to stress that the boil advisory was issued because of a drop in system pressure, not because contaminants were found.”
Following state water quality guidelines and issuing the boil advisory was the correct thing to do, explained Harris.
“When it comes to public health, it’s better to be safe than sorry,” she said.