Oakley residents can drink their water again after a one-day boil water order was lifted.
The Summit County Health Department, in conjunction with the City of Oakley, issued an advisory late Wednesday afternoon for everyone on the Oakley City Water System to boil their water for 24 hours after bacteria, including E. Coli, was detected.
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The boil water order was issued at approximately 4:10 p.m. Wednesday and was lifted at 5 p.m. Thursday. The county sent out a notice at approximately 4:41 p.m. Thursday that the order would be lifted at 5 p.m. Once the boil water order was lifted, residents were advised to their run water for 15 minutes due to the high levels of chlorine.
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Phil Bondurant, the environmental health director, said water samples were taken starting at 4 p.m. and intermittingly until five that showed the water was negative for any foreign bacteria.
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Oakley failed its monthly water test on Monday when E. Coli was detected. On Tuesday when the water was tested again Coliform, which is a common bacteria found in the environment, was also detected. The city started chlorinating its water in an effort to clean up the supply. The order wasn’t legally mandated but was issued as a precaution because of the chlorination.
Officials think the city’s water supply became contaminated from either a recent construction mishap where a water line was hit or from debris that entered the source.
“We know there was some gravel that got into the source and when E.Coli shows up it typically means there is a break in the line somewhere. With the recent rain water that is probably how it was introduced,” Bondurant said. “In a system where there is no chlorination, this type of thing is prone to happen.”
Residents who were affected by the order were notified via the county’s Code Red alert system and fliers were hung on everyone’s doors. Water bottles were taken to Elk Meadows Assisted Living and were also available for residents at the city’s offices.
Oakley Mayor Wade Woolstenhulme said he wanted to thank all of the outside agencies that were involved in the effort.
“I just want to thank everyone that helped yesterday. We were being proactive for the safety of the citizens,” he said. “They all got together and helped the city really jump on this. We got it cleaned up pretty fast and everything is back to normal now.”