Update: NJUS lifted the boil-water notice on August 19 after receiving lab results confirming bacteria had not contaminated the water system.
The City of Nome is on boil-water notice, following a mainline break on August 17.
Nome Joint Utility System (NJUS) announced that bacterial contamination from ground water may have entered the water main after water pressure was reduced to address the break in a section of the hospital water line near Greg Kruschek Avenue and N Street.
Ken Morton, assistant manager for NJUS, explained:
“We like to keep a certain amount of pressure in the line. If in the event there is a break at a location, if we have low pressure that could create an opportunity for water laden with something that we wouldn’t want in there to enter the system.”
He added, however, “We have no sense that that happened. This is purely precautionary.”
NJUS collected water samples from a handful of locations yesterday and sent them to a laboratory to test for contamination.
Until sample results confirming water quality have been received, NJUS is advising everyone who uses Nome city water to bring water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. According to the announcement, boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation.
The water samples were flown to Anchorage last night and taken to a laboratory in the Mat-Su, where a 24-hour analysis was begun shortly after midnight. That means results won’t be available until that time tonight (Friday night).
Morton says this is the first boil-water notice he’s been aware of in Nome.
Photo at top: via Pixabay, public domain.