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Boil advisory lifted in Idaho Falls — test results show no contaminants

EastIdahoNews.com file photo
The following is a news release from the city of Idaho Falls.
IDAHO FALLS — City officials received notice Friday morning from the local lab that the water sampling test results returned negative for contamination. As a result, the city of Idaho Falls is lifting the boil water advisory, effective immediately.
Residents can resume using water normally, including for drinking, washing, and cooking.
The mechanical issue that caused the water pressures to briefly drop Thursday morning has been resolved.
The last time the city of Idaho Falls experienced a water system issue that resulted in a boil water advisory was in 2012. All systems have been operating normally since that time.
As an additional precautionary measure, residents are encouraged to flush their water systems at each of the faucets used for drinking water and to do so for approximately five minutes per faucet.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The city’s Water Division routinely monitors the conditions in the drinking water distribution system. On the morning of Thursday, Jan. 5, the city experienced a drop in water pressure below 20 psi due to mechanical issues at two of the city’s wells. Public water systems are required to maintain a minimum of 20 psi during emergency situations.
A drop in water pressure creates conditions that could allow contamination to enter the distribution system through backflow, by backpressure, or back-siphoning. As a result, there is an increased chance that the drinking water may contain disease-causing organisms.
While there was no known contamination of the water system, the boil advisory was issued out of an abundance of caution until water sampling confirming the absence of disease-causing organisms.
There are a total of 20 wells in the city; only three of those wells operate during winter months when irrigation is not needed to water lawns and fields.
When the mechanical issues occurred in two of the wells on Thursday morning, water pressures within the boil advisory area dropped below 20 psi for a brief time. Within 20 minutes of being notified by the automated system that pressures had dropped, personnel from the Idaho Falls Water Division had normalized pressures and began the process of identifying the cause of the mechanical issues.
Shortly after normalizing the system yesterday, Public Works personnel notified the local office of Department of Environment Quality and began working on public notifications. According to the DEQ, the city has 24-hours to make public notifications after personnel are made aware of an issue in the system. Simultaneous with those efforts, personnel began sampling the water at city wells in accordance with DEQ guidelines.
After the water sampling was completed on Jan. 5, the samples were taken to a local lab for evaluation. The standard incubation period for sampling is 12 hours. At approximately 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 6, city officials received notice from the lab that all of the samples can back negative. City personnel began notifying the public through various notification systems within 15 minutes of receiving that notification.
For additional concerns or questions, please contact Idaho Falls Public Works at (208) 612-8250.
The post Boil advisory lifted in Idaho Falls — test results show no contaminants appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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