Update on continued boil water advisory in Hillsboro

Michael Weber and his daughter, Ellie, get a case of water from employee Jena Terrell at Midway Motors.

Michael Weber and his daughter, Ellie, get a case of water from employee Jena Terrell at Midway Motors.



Update on Hillsboro Water

Hillsboro continues to be under a boil water advisory until at least 4 p.m. tomorrow. USD 410 has canceled school for tomorrow.

Midway Motors has been providing cases of water to Hillsboro residents and will continue to do so tomorrow. They have plans in place to provide more if there continues to be a need after that.

Here is the update from Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine:

What we know now is the Telemetry system didn’t work properly. About 11:30 last night, the little tower stopped asking the pump to add water to the tower. By 7:30 a.m. water in the tank was gone and without water in the tank, we couldn’t distribute any water to customers.

At the same time, the Peabody tower asked for water from their clear well and we didn’t have any capacity to send their way. When we were notified by customers that they had no water, we were able to put the pumps on manual and fill the water tower.

As the water crew went around checking the system, they were encouraged to see the high levels of chlorine (which in this case would be normal day to day levels). Those samples were taken to the KDHE Laboratory in Salina for testing.

We will know about 4:00 p.m. tomorrow whether to continue the boil order another day. The Topeka KDHE Office will be the one that will rescind the order.

When the office staff arrived,
• We started calling everyone that needed water—USD 410, hospital, nursing homes, Tabor, grocery and convenience stores. We have a list of people to call.
• We notified KDHE and voluntarily started boil order procedures. Later this morning, KDHE made that official.
• We notified the press and I gave interviews to the two newspapers. I don’t think any other press contacted us.
• We posted the initial and follow up notices on Facebook and our website.
• Once the KDHE order was received, we posted that order on Facebook and the website.
• We printed and handed out 1100 flyers to customers throughout Hillsboro.
• We answered many customer calls about what happened and what the extent of the problem
• I communicated with Max Heinrichs about possible school closure for Friday

After we have the situation resolved, I will have an after action meeting next week to talk about things that went wrong, what we did right and how to address things for the future. LP

The Free Press will continue to update you as more information becomes available. You can also continue to check the KDHE website and the City of Hillsboro website.

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