The City of Molalla issued a boil water notice Thursday afternoon following a broken water main line that caused several areas on opposite ends of the city to lose pressure entirely.
This notice is for everyone who lost water pressure at the time the high-pressure line broke, according to the notice from Molalla Public Works.
While there is no evidence that the water became unsafe to drink and the treatment plant was unaffected by the break, “the danger of coliform bacteria and siphoning of unwanted chemicals is one the city takes very seriously,” the notice said.
While generally not harmful themselves, coliforms can indicate that other, potentially harmful bacteria may be present.
City officials reiterate that there is no evidence coliforms or any other harmful substances are present in the water supply. The notice is being issued out of an abundance of caution while the city performs precautionary testing.
City water customers who lost pressure on July 28 — as well as those who are not sure if they lost pressure — should not consume city water without boiling it first.
To safely boil water, bring the water to a rolling boil for one full minute, allow the water to cool before using, and store the cooled water in a clean container with a cover.
Customers should use boiled water or bottled water for drinking, brushing teeth, washing fruits and vegetables, preparing food and baby formula, making ice, cleaning food contact surfaces
Following a loss of water pressure, water can be discolored or smelly. If this happens, flush sinks and toilets until the water is clear.
City staff has isolated the main break and is currently working to repair it, which could last until Friday, July 29. Once the main is repaired, city staff will be flushing water mains for the next several days, which should not impact customers’ water service.
Staff members are also testing the water with results expected by Friday afternoon. Once the results are verified, the boil water notice will be lifted. People can check the city website or social media for updates and for more information.
The City of Molalla draws its water from the Molalla River, about 10 miles upsteam from Canby Utility’s intake. There is no boil water notice in effect for Canby residents and no reason to believe Molalla’s main line break affected downstream users.
Update: The boil water notice was lifted shortly before 4 p.m. Friday after the testing was completed and verified that the city’s water is safe. The Oregon Health Authority authorized the city to lift restrictions, the new notice said.
Restaurants and all other city water customers were advised that they may immediately resume normal operations. Residents who experience discolored water should run their faucets for a few minutes and contact the city if the problem persists.
Officials advise that discolored water is not unsafe, but it does taste bad and doesn’t clean stuff very well.
“A special thanks to our Public Words crew that worked like mad to get this situation in-hand, our Public Works management who worked diligently to administer the necessary processes, the City’s support staff who fielded numerous questions and concerns, and the Molalla community for your patience and support while this situation was resolved,” tue city said on its Facebook page.
The City of Molalla draws its water from the Molalla River, about 10 miles upsteam from Canby Utility’s intake. There was no boil water notice in effect for Canby residents and no reason to believe Molalla’s main line break affected downstream users.
Help us build a sustainable news organization to serve Canby for generations to come! Let us know if you can support our efforts to expand our operations and keep all of our content paywall-free. #SwimWithTheCurrent!