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Boil Water Advisory lifted for Wichita; Others remain under advisory

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 11:34 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - (UPDATE: Saturday, 1:15 a.m.) - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has rescinded a boil water advisory for the City of Wichita public water supply system. But, some surrounding communities remain under that advisory for the time being.

KDHE and the City recommends that to be safe, all consumers should run their water by turning on a faucet for 10 to 15 minutes.

That advisory was issued earlier this week due to a loss of pressure in the distribution system, which could result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination.

The lifted notice applies to any customer who receives a bill for water from the City of Wichita. That includes customers in Andover and Eastborough. The boil water advisory has also been lifted for residents in Maize who receive water from Wichita.

Customers in some surrounding communities are still advised to boil their water. Those customers include Sedgwick County RWDs 1, 2 and 3; the cities of Benton, Rose Hill, Derby (El Paso Water Co.), Kechi, Valley Center; and McConnell AFB. KDHE did not provide an update on when the boil water advisory will be lifted for these communities.

KDHE says laboratory testing samples collected from the City of Wichita showed no evidence of bacteriological contamination and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.

For consumer questions, please contact the water system or you may call KDHE at 785-296-5514. For consumer information please visit KDHE’s PWS Consumer Information webpage here: http://www.kdheks.gov/pws/emergencyresponse/water_disruption.htm

While the advisory remains in effect, Wichita water customers should continue the following precautions:

  • Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or feed preparation, or use bottled water.
  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.
  • Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.
  • Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.

For those needing bottled water, Dillons said it is working to make sure all of its stores are stocked with water. The company said its stores were able to get pallets of water overnight from Coke and Pepsi.

If the boil water advisory continues past Saturday when test results are expected, the city has two plans in place. Plan A is to look at local areas where tests didn’t pass and lift the advisory for areas that did pass. Plan B is to set up water stations for areas that can’t or won’t boil water and provide it for free.

The city said it is looking at ways to keep this from happening again.

“We are looking at, in our new water treatment plant, to help reduce this exposure (with) soft-start motors and other equipment to help with these shutdowns and pressure issues,” King said.

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