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Public Works Director Provides Update on Boil Water Notice

By Willard Gouge

Public Works Director

On Wednesday, April 10, LCO Public Works issued a Drinking Water Advisory informing our customers in Bacon Square, parts of Bacon Strip, Watertower, Drytown and Round Lake to boil their water for three minutes before drinking due to the loss of pressure in the community water system.

We were alerted to the issue at 1:50 pm that day, and had pressure restored by 2:00 p.m. Once we started to pressurize the system, the mains were immediately filled with fresh water.

LCO Public Works initiated water testing that same afternoon for the presence of chlorine (Sodium Hypochlorite) and found that we had an adequate supply in the lines. Chlorine residual throughout the entire 27 miles of water main is present.

Bacteriological testing took place the following day. Our nearest drinking water lab is over an hour’s drive. Our samples must be at the lab in the early afternoon so that the lab can prep the sample for the 24-hour test.

EPA mandated that we issue the boil-water advisory strictly as a PRECAUTION. There are currently no indications that suggest residents are in danger of bacterial contamination.

Safeguards are in place for these types of incidents. The community water systems on the LCO reservation are disinfected with sodium hypochlorite. The presence of disinfectant in the Drytown community water is roughly .5 to .9 parts per million. EPA suggests that we maintain a minimum of .2 parts per million. When we conducted sampling after the event, we found levels of .48 and .50. This means that there was adequate disinfectant to kill bacteria in the water.

The Giiwedin and Bacon Strip communities were flushed the day prior and the moment we started refilling the affected communities, residents were supplied with clean, fresh water pumped out of the wells.

Therefore, it is my opinion that people do not have to vacate their homes during this time.

Please follow the boil water notice, especially if you are immune compromised or have young babies.

Again, the advisory is a precautionary measure.

On a personal note, I have three children who all drink our community water. Most of our operators and staff at LCO Public Works live and have families on our community water supply. Some of our staff were affected by the notice. We all have a vested interest in our water supply.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please be patient as we are awaiting our lab samples. I cannot promise or provide a date/time that we can lift our advisory.


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