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Boil Water Notice Issued For Emmonak; Water Pressure Loss Sparked Contaminant Concern

A stainless steel pot of boiling water on a stovetop.

The community of Emmonak is under a boil water notice after the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a public water systems’ advisory earlier this week.

According to staff with the city office of Emmonak, sometime Tuesday morning, a construction crew was installing new water lines in the community, and their work caused the entire Emmonak Water System to lose pressure. The DEC’s public notice says a water pressure loss can potentially contaminate the water system through back-siphonage.

As of Tuesday, a boil water notice was issued for Emmonak and will remain in effect until the DEC confirms there are no more contaminants in the water system due to the loss of pressure.

Heather Newman is the environmental program manager with DEC in Alaska. She says the department requires that three coliform samples be taken from the area of water lines where maintenance was being done. If bacteria are present in those water lines, Newman says they can be flushed with chlorinated water.

According to Newman, it takes the DEC lab 24 hours, starting once they receive the water samples, to get results and determine the presence of contaminants.

The Department of Environmental Conservation expects Emmonak’s water system to be taken off boil notice by sometime late next week.

Image at top: Pixabay, public domain.