The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has issued a boil water advisory for the portion of Johnson County Rural Water District 7 located south of Highway 56, Spring Hill, and Miami County District 2. Customers of Johnson Co RWD 7 north of Highway 56 are served by water originating from Olathe and as such are not subject to this advisory.
“Brown water has been released from the Miami 2 Water Treatment Plant, and it’s under investigation,” said Allan Soetaert, manager of JCRWD 7. “Cloudiness and a brown tint indicate higher turbidity, which can affect disinfection.”
KDHE officials issued the advisory because of high turbidity, which is cloudy or opaque water, sometimes thick with matter. Turbidity in a distribution system may result in bacterial contamination and a loss of chlorine residuals.
“Chlorine residuals have stayed strong, and we are flushing the system,” Soetaert said. “We are analyzing the system and will know more after an incubation of 24 hours.”
KDHE officials recommend that all customers take precautions until further notice. Those precautions are:
• If tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.
• Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water.
• Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.
• Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.
• Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that they do not ingest the water.
• Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.
Soetaert said that updates will be posted on social media, both on the Facebook page and at The water district has more than 250 miles of pipeline and serves about 3,200 customers in Johnson and Miami Counties.
The advisory, which was issued Nov. 4, will remain in effect until the conditions that placed the system at risk of bacterial contamination have been resolved. Regardless of whether the public water supplier or KDHE announced a boil water advisory, only KDHE can issue the rescind order following testing at a certified laboratory.