Letters (April 23, 2014)

City available to test water issues

Stan Thiessen voiced his concern about the safety of the water in Hillsboro in the Free Press a couple of weeks ago (Letters, April 2).

After boiling several gallons of water at a low temperature, Mr. Thiessen observed ?brown sludge? at the bottom of his pan and then suggested that citizens drink bottled water.

The staff at the water department was not contacted about Mr. Thiessen?s colored-water issue; therefore, we were not able to assist in troubleshooting the concern.

However, in similar circumstances, we have been able to identify and alleviate concerns by performing an inspection of interior plumbing and flushing of the service line.

Hillsboro still retains many of its older cast-iron water distribution mains that were installed in the 1920s. These old lines have iron deposition on them from the well water that was used before the water treatment plant was built in the 1980s.

Occasionally, we will see iron deposits from the walls of the old piping slough off and show up as colored water at the tap. This is remedied by flushing the tap water at the sink for a minute or two.

If the problem persists, we flush the water main at a nearby hydrant. We also balance the water at the plant so that is not corrosive and cause iron to be released from the pipe.

The capital costs for replacing all of the old cast iron piping in town at once would be astronomical. However, we try to replace sections as we are able to allocate funds to do so. In the past 15 years we have replaced about 6.9 miles of water line as time and money permit.

Annually, the city of Hillsboro mails the Consu?mer Confidence Report to the citizens of Hillsboro. This document may also be found at city hall and on the city?s website.

The report reflects an entire year?s worth of KDHE laboratory analysis of the city?s water as well as any violations that may have occurred. Additionally, the water is continually monitored at the water-treatment plant with several different types of sophisticated monitoring equipment that notifies staff of any variance in water quality, no matter the time, day or night.

The city cannot know about problems you or your neighbor may be experiencing at the tap if you do not notify us of your concerns.

Please allow our qualified staff to help troubleshoot your colored-water complaints before you assume the safety of your water is compromised and caution others to drink bottled water.

All customers are encouraged to contact us at 947-3162 or 947-3189 if they are experiencing taste and odor issues or colored water. It allows us to better serve the community and address problems as they arise.

Morgan Marler

Senior water treatment

technician,

City of Hillsboro

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