Boil alert issued for Blackfoot

BLACKFOOT — A boil water alert has been issued for Blackfoot residents living east of Fisher Street. This area includes Blackfoot High School, Stoddard Elementary School and State Hospital South.
Fecal coliform, better known as E. coli, bacteria was found in the water supply on Thursday. These bacteria can make you sick and may pose a special health risk for infants, young children and people with severely compromised immune systems.
What should be done?
° Do not drink the water without boiling it first. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute and let it cool before using or use bottled water.
° Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation until further notice.
° Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
"We are working with the Department of Environmental Quality," said Blackfoot mayor Mike Virtue. "Samples [of water] are being taken each day," he said. "When there are two clean samples on two consecutive days, the boil order can be lifted."
The boil order could be lifted as early as Sunday or Monday depending if there are two consecutive days of clean samples, said Richard Mangum, Water Superintendent for the City of Blackfoot.
Ten samples are routinely taken each month, said Mangum. Five samples are taken the first week of the year and five more samples are taken during the third week of each month.
"These samples are a snapshot of what going on in the water system," he said. "The bacteria is an indicator that something is going on in the system."
When there is a bad sample, additional samples are taken upstream and downstream of the bad sample and are taken to DEQ to be tested. The results of Thursday's sample will be available on Friday.
What is being done?
At this time, chlorine is being put into the system. Water officials are also flushing the immediate area. The area is being constantly sampled until a clear sample comes in.
The public will be informed when tests show no bacteria and young longer need to boil your water.
"We anticipate resolving the problem within three to five days," said Mangum.
For more information, contact Mangum at (208) 785-8608.
General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water holing at 1-800-426-4791.
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing home, schools and businesses).