Boil water advisory ongoing for Towns Riverview South

Meghan Flynn
The boil water advisory for the Towns Riverview South subdivision, issued on April 20, continues.

A boil water advisory went into effect for Towns Riverview South on April 20.

It’s still in effect two months later.

Kristi Zears, director of Communication for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said the advisory went into effect due to persistent low water pressure.

Colleen Drees, Finney County Health Department director, said low water pressure, anything under 20 psi, gives concern to potential bacteria growth.

Until repairs are made to the water distribution system and there’s consistent water pressure at least 20 psi or higher, the advisory will remain in effect, Drees said.

Since the order went into effect there have been repairs to the system, Drees said. Several valves have been replaces to help with the pressure but there’s only been a marginal improvement.

They’ve also pursued getting Well #2 back online to help with the pressure system, Drees said, as well as running water quality testing on the well.

“Currently Well #2 is supplying the Towns Riverview South with water, however it should be boiled, it's not drinking water,” she said. “It can be used for bathing, toileting, toilets or laundry, that would be the best use of that water currently.”

Drees said KDHE sends out a representative to do continuous pressure checks to monitor the system, but the whole thing is a complicated scenario.

“I know it's a difficult scenario to address because it's not an easy or a potentially expensive system to replace or maintenance,” she said. “I know KDHE is definitely working with the water distribution owner as well as the Kansas Rural Association is also helping evaluate the issue.”

On May 8 KDHE filed an Emergency Administrator Order requiring repair to the water distribution system and for the owner to supply alternative water until the requirements of the order have been completed, Zears said.

Drees said several volunteer groups have been working together to provide drinking water to the residents of Towns Riverview South.

Zears said KDHE is working with the Towns family and county officials to ensure residents have adequate water for drinking, cooking and basic sanitation as solutions are being worked out.