Indian Hills water given all-clear
August 15, 2012
After a long weekend under a boil-water order, customers of the Indian Hills General Improvement District were given the all-clear on Monday morning.
There was no sign of the bacteria that showed up in samples taken from the district’s water system on Aug. 8 and prompted a state order the next day.
“Based on what we can come up with, the samples were contaminated after they were taken,” District Manager John Lufrano said. “All the samples we took came back clear.”
The bad sample turned up during routine monthly testing. Because tests take 24 hours, it was Thursday evening before the state issued the boil-water order.
“We normally test once a month,” Lufrano said. “The tests failed in five out of the six samples. We’ve been taking samples the same way for 10 years.”
Lufrano said plant operators ruled out the chlorine injectors as a source of the contamination.
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“The checks for chlorine turned out to be as high as any of the other samples,” he said. “There’s no indication the water was ever contaminated.”
Lufrano said the district will continue to review its procedure to determine the source of the problem.
“It was an inconvenience to our residents, and I deeply, deeply regret that,” he said. “We will sit down and look what we do to test, and where we take samples.”
Last year, the district had a boil-water order because the computer running the pumps burned up, and the pipes ran dry in parts of the district.
Some district residents said they didn’t learn of the contamination until days after the order was given.
Sunridge resident Marsha Marshall said she was reading the Saturday edition of the Nevada Appeal when she saw the story.
“I think what’s really disturbing is that there was supposedly a reverse 911 call,” she said. “Myself and my neighbor both have land lines and it did not work. This would really be significant if I were an elderly woman or someone who had very young children.”
Marshall said it was the district’s responsibility to put up notices to alert residents to the order.
“Indian Hills is still responsible to make sure people know about this,” she said.
Lufrano said putting signs on the barriers the district has along area streets was a good idea. He said the state Bureau of Safe Drinking Water said he was in compliance with the notification rules, but that he was still getting calls from customers.
In addition to using reverse 911, the district alerted area television stations and publications, which posted the information to their websites.