Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Boil water advisory affects nearly 2,500

by The Indiana Gazette on April 26, 2014 10:59 AM

About 2,500 customers of the Indiana County Municipal Services Authority whose water comes from the Crooked Creek Water Treatment Plant near Creekside are being told to boil their water before drinking it because of a risk of contamination.

Those customers are residents of Armstrong, Center, Conemaugh, White and Young townships and the boroughs of Creekside, Ernest and Shelocta.

Officials said Friday that no bacteria contamination or turbidity violations have been detected in water samples, but several filtering cells had failed efficiency testing.

“We routinely monitor the conditions at the Crooked Creek Water Treatment Plant and on Friday … two of our membrane filters failed decay (efficiency) tests,” a spokesman for the authority said in a prepared statement from the plant. “At the time our filtered water had (readings) within normal limits. As a precaution, cells #3 and #4 were taken off line and we are issuing a boil water notice.”

The boiling notice is expected to remain in effect at least through the weekend.

Customers are advised to bring all water to a rolling 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, washing dishes, brushing teeth and food preparation until further notice.

Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms, officials said. These organisms include bacteria, viruses and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea and headaches.

These symptoms, however, are not caused only by organisms in drinking water, but also by other factors. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms that persist may want to seek medical advice.

People with severely compromised immune systems, infants and some elderly residents may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.

Officials said filters #1 and #2 continue to filter water at the plant. The other two filters are expected to be repaired early next week.

Further updates will be issued as warranted. More information is available at www.icomsa.org.

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