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City of West Plains, Mo. issues boil water order; could last days

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 11:49 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 25, 2021 at 6:31 PM CDT
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WEST PLAINS, Mo. (KY3) - The city of West Plains, Mo. issued a citywide boil water order.

The city’s water lost its disinfection for more than four hours Thursday.

“We had a piece of line that actually was coiled up. The vacuum became so great it pinched the line off and kinked it, shutting the vacuum, shutting down the feed,” said West Plains Water Treatment Plant Chief Operator Joshua Wortley

Because of that, he said chlorine levels dropped below Department of Natural Resources guidelines.

Wortley said their computer system did alert them of the problem fairly quickly, and the system failure was fixed within an hour.

“But, due to the fact that the residuals dropped so low, it took another four hours before those residuals came back up to DNR regulation levels, which is point five,” he said.

Wortley said that’s why the boil water order was needed to be put in place. It’s unclear when it will end. Once fixed, the state will test water samples for consecutive days to ensure the water is safe.

“We’re hoping that we should have an answer either by Saturday or Sunday, hopefully no later than Monday,” Wortley said.

The West Plains School District will have bottles of water for students while in school is in session, but school leaders encourage families to send bottles of water with students for the school day Friday. All restroom facilities will be in use.

“I reached out to one of our local distributors, to Pepsi actually, and I have about 10 pallets of water that will be here first thing tomorrow morning,” said Human Resources and Student Services Director Wesley Davis.

Davis said he also had to make arrangements with the director of food services due to the order.

“I said this is what happened, so we have to change our menus and of course the way we prepare tomorrow, so we’re actually in good shape. "

He said students can take leftover water home with them after the school day is over if needed.

“We have way more than we need, and as much as they need to take we will let them take it of course, we are here to do anything we can to help them out [and] help the families out,” Davis said.

City leaders ask residents to monitor its Facebook page for updates.

The City of West Plains is under a city-wide BOIL WATER ORDER due to a loss of disinfection for more than four hours....

Posted by City of West Plains on Thursday, March 25, 2021

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