The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) issued a Boil Water Advisory (BWA) at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 for only a specific area in the southwest portion of Manhattan. An estimated 4,700 people will be affected and a map of the area is available at https://cityofmhk.com/DocumentCenter/View/62611/MHK-Boil-Water-Advisory-Map---05-25-2021. The general boundaries the City provided to KDHE are as follows:
- Eastern Boundary: South Delaware Road
- Southern Boundary: Stagg Hill Road at Rosencutter Road
- Western Boundaries: EJ Frick Drive at Amherst Avenue, Tamarak Drive at Arbor Drive
- Northern Boundaries: Wildcat Creek at Seth Child Road, Poyntz Avenue at South Delaware Road
The Boil Water Advisory (BWA) was issued due to water system pressure in this area dropping below acceptable levels. This is not a Boil Water Order. When water system pressure drops below 20 psi, there is the potential for contamination. Two water main breaks that happened earlier this morning caused the drop in pressure for this area.
A boil advisory is a precautionary measure issued by KDHE to alert customers when there is a potential for compromised water quality. Under and advisory, it is recommended that customers boil all water used in the preparation of food and beverage for consumption.
A boil order is a confirmation that contamination is present in the water system. Under an order, is essential that customers boil all water used in the preparation of food and beverage for consumption.
“There was no known contamination,” said Randy DeWitt, Assistant Director of Public Works. “The advisory is strictly procedural because we know that some areas of the water system dropped below the water pressure threshold of 20 psi. We will be conducting system bacteriological testing as required by KDHE, as well as water system flushing as necessary. KDHE will not rescind the advisory until all test results are returned negative for total coliform bacteria.”
Water samples will be collected and sent to a KDHE environmental laboratory in Topeka and will be analyzed on a high-priority basis. Test results could take 24 - 48 hours and residents are advised to follow boil water advisory precautions until the system is declared safe. Residents outside the affected area can continue normal water use.
Residents in the affected areas should:
- Use bottled or boiled water for drinking (also for pets), and to prepare and cook food
- If bottled water is not available, bring water to a full rolling boil for 1 minute, then allow to cool before using
- Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water line such as ice and water from a refrigerator
- It is ok to shower and bathe in tap water, but be careful not to swallow any water
- Brush teeth with boiled or bottled water
- If possible, use disposable plates, cups, and utensils
- Household dishwashers are generally safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit or the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle
- To wash dishes by hand, wash and rinse as normal, then in a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of warm water, soak the dishes for at least 1 minute then let air dry completely before using again
- It is ok to use tap water to wash hands
- It is ok to wash clothes as usual
- It is ok to water gardens and houseplants as usual
At this point, there are no known causes for the two water main breaks which occurred this morning at Stagg Hill Road and Westwood Road. City crews and an outside contractor are on-site working to complete repairs.
“It is not uncommon for one break to cause a disruption in the system that leads to further water main breaks,” said DeWitt. “In order to make sure the repairs are completed in a timely manner, an outside contractor will be used to assist with the Stagg Hill Road location, while City crews will work on the second site.”
Updates will be posted to the City website and social media sites as the situation progresses. More information about safety procedures during a boil water advisory are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/drinking-water-advisories/boil-water-advisory.html
For consumer questions, please contact the water system or KDHE at 785-296-5514. For consumer information please visit KDHE’s PWS Consumer Information webpage: http://www.kdheks.gov/pws/emergencyresponse/water_disruption.htm
Restaurants and other food establishments that have questions about the impact of the boil water advisory on their business can contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s food safety & lodging program at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 785-564-6767.