Sunday is the earliest the village of Fredonia water customers will be able to use water without boiling it.
Mayor Stephen Keefe said the problem with clogged filter beds is coming under control, but the health department requires two full days of low turbidity and microbe-free tests after an incident. "As far as I know the process is working and we should be in pretty good shape. It's just a matter now of making the health department happy," Keefe explained, and said the water is "clearing off and looking good."
Reducing turbidity is challenging, Keefe said, in part because a system of trial and error is time consuming. "You have to try a bunch of things to see if it's clearing, and each time you try, you have to wait a few hours to see if it worked."
Keefe said the boil order is a precaution. "There hasn't been any bacteria anywhere as far as I know. ... It's better to be safe than sorry."
On Thursday, Carriage House was linked with a water supply from Dunkirk, so Keefe said they are "back to normal operations." He explained he was not familiar with the details, but workers redirected certain feeder lines and created a direct line right to Carriage House.
While Carriage House was able to be restored, Keefe said he knows the situation is difficult for other businesses. "I think for something like a restaurant where you have to worry about ice and other things ... you might have a soda machine that has to mix with water. ... It becomes a major headache for them."
The college campus has also had to replenish its bottled water supply, according to Keefe. "It's been an impact for everyone," he said.
The filter beds don't require replacement according to Keefe, but said a malfunctioning chemical pump caused the beds to clog overnight. "The chemicals weren't mixing overnight like they should," he explained, so sediment particles weren't separating from the water as they would under normal operating conditions.
"What we talked about today was getting an alarm on the chemical mixer. Anything else that goes wrong (in the plant) ... has an alarm that goes off for the water treatment operator. When he went in, it was just cloudy, then had to figure out what was going on," which took some time, Keefe said.
In addition to boiling, residents are urged to conserve water as much as possible. "We ask everyone continue to boil and be patient," Keefe told the OBSERVER.
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