A precautionary boil order was issued Tuesday afternoon for the entire Mountain View water system as the result of the loss of normal system pressure from a pump malfunction.
Because of the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system, the water may be unsafe for human consumption. Water used for drinking or food preparation must be boiled briskly for one minute prior to use. All ice cubes should be discarded and only boiled water used for making ice.
The precautionary boil order will remain in effect until the problem has been corrected, an adequate disinfectant level is established and a bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe to drink.
Temperatures dropped into the single digits beginning Saturday night, and by Sunday afternoon the pump bringing water to Mountain View Water System’s intake structure had stopped working. Residents were asked to conserve water. A portable pump was borrowed and proved to be of limited help. By Tuesday morning, a pump was working but the belt broke, so personnel were working to find another pump, and a replacement belt, and were also working on a different pump.
Customers of rural associations that purchase water from Mountain View began to lose water service on Monday. In an attempt to preserve service to the hospital and nursing home, associations had been requested to stop pumping water when the problems began.
As of 2:30 Tuesday:
Customers in Mountain View began to report outages.
West Stone County Water Association water operator Dalton Lewis said an estimated 25 percent of the system customers still had water but the supply was dwindling. The system serves nearly 2,000 customers across southwest Stone County, with lines extending into neighboring counties.
Pleasant Grove Water Association, serving about 1,100 customers east and south of Mountain View, still had water in all tanks, but the level was extremely low. Office Manager Kenny Swafford said rumors that water was being shut off by the department are not true. He requested that residents continue to let faucets drip as necessary, but to delay filling bath tubs, doing dishes or running washing machines.
For Richwoods Water Department, serving about 750 customers south of Mountain View, the supply in tanks is expected to be exhausted by Wednesday morning, according to Joseph Green, water operator in training.
At Fifty Six, which received grants and loans to connect to the Mountain View system after problems with its own, there is enough water to last in Wednesday morning, said Mayor Earnestine McDaniel. There are about 220 customers on that system.
Water Supt. Keith Johnson said there had been no progress getting water into the intake structure at the river, but another pump was expected Tuesday afternoon. A working pump would enable the city to start refilling the tank at the treatment plant and the system could start pumping from there. It would take a minimum of 24 hours to recover from storage tanks being emptied, or perhaps faster if residents will continue to be conservative with water use, he said.
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