EVERGREEN - A precautionary boil water advisory is being issued for Evergreen Water and Sewer District which serves 10,000 people.
A news release states the "water system is experiencing an emergency situation which could result in contamination of the water supply."
The Evergreen Water and Sewer District reports they began receiving customer calls about water supply interruptions shortly after 11:45 p.m. on Sunday.
A piping failure at two water tanks holding a total of 2.6 million gallons of water was soon discovered.
The flooding from the pipe leak caused electrical shorts to the controls that monitor the levels of the water tanks.
"The loss of the control equipment and a related failure in our emergency notification system resulted in District's two water tanks being fully drained of water," a news release states.
While water did not escape from the tanks, the tanks failed to refill once they were depleted and customers began to experience water shortages and pressure-related issues.
The tanks are almost 50% full and will be back to normal operation in less than 24 hours, according to the District.
Because the system was depleted, it is possible that certain parts of the drinking water system may be contaminated with bacteria from backflow.
The Evergreen Water and Sewer District notes backflow could have occurred from certain appliances such as hot water tanks or water softeners.
The District reports they are working with DEQ and are issuing a Boil Order Advisory.
The water system will temporarily be chlorinated and then fully flushed, which should be accomplished by late Wednesday.
Bacteria testing will be done on Thursday with the results expected back sometime on Friday.
Customers are being asked to curtail watering for the next 12 hours. However, watering restrictions are not being implemented.
Read the full advisory below:
Boil Water Advisory
for Flathead County Water District #1 – Evergreen "Evergreen Water & Sewer"
MT0001744 Water System Water may be contaminated
Our water system is experiencing an emergency situation which could result in contamination of the water supply. This is a precautionary BOIL WATER ADVISORY and as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.
This Boil Water Advisory is precautionary. The Flathead County Water & Sewer public water supply experienced a loss of pressure in our distribution system. This emergency situation could render the water system susceptible to contamination. Water system personnel are monitoring the situation. Your cooperation is needed. Please adhere to the water restriction guidelines and boil the water before consuming.
What should I do?
Boil your water. People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
What does this mean?
• As a precaution boil the water before consuming until advised otherwise.
Fecal coliform and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, and people with severely compromised immune systems. The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.
What is being done?
Disinfection and flushing of the system will be completed this week. We currently expect this to occur by late Wednesday. Bacteriological samples of the water will be collected as soon as normal operations return. We expect those samples as soon as Thursday and will post the results when we receive them. The testing normally takes 24 hours. Personnel are closely monitoring the situation and will update users. For more information, please contact 406-257-5861. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
*Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice.
This notice is being sent to you by Flathead County Water District #1 – Evergreen (Evergreen Water & Sewer) State Water System ID#: MT0001744