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What Happens When a Water Line Breaks?

Post Date:10/10/2018 10:34 AM
When the recent water transmission line broke in the Spencer Creek area, the City staff, crew and officials followed the City’s emergency procedure to resolve the crisis and get the word out to the citizens in a timely manner.  Here is the process we follow, and what you can expect in the future.

1.If you find yourself without water or have a sewer problem during office hours Monday to Friday call Public Works at (360) 673-3706. If it is after office hours – call the city’s emergency number (360)-703-0168 or call 911.  The on-call personnel will be notified and respond as soon as possible. 

2.Once the City becomes aware of a service outage, the crew contacts office staff if during business hours, while they work to find, isolate, and make repairs to the system.  Isolating the outage is done to ensure that the least number of citizens are affected and service continues in all areas possible. 

3.Office staff will notify those directly affected by the outage by phone and get the notice out on the City webpage and facebook. This is why it is important to make sure the City has your most current phone number on your account.  We respect your privacy and will not provide your numbers to anyone else. It also helps when citizens spread the word to their neighbors who may not be on social media.

4.If the outage will affect a large area of the City, then the City will take measures to make sure public notifications are made.  This can include going to the radio stations, the TV media out of Portland, and reverse 911 calls.  

5. If those affected will be out of water for an extended period, those not reached by phone, will have a notice delivered directly to their residence.  The City may also provide bottled water to those affected if the outage is extended.

6. If the lines have to be recharged, testing of the water quality may be required and the City may issue a boil water order.  Notification will be made by phone, and/or posting by signs in the area, and/or notices to all affected homes. It will also be posted on the City website and facebook page.    Under a boil water order you will need to boil all consumed water for 1 to 3 minutes.   Water is safe for bathing and laundry, but not for drinking or cooking.  Tests take 24 hours and once they come back clear, the City will lift the boil water order and put out notices as listed above.

The City works hard to ensure customers receive uninterrupted water service, but an occasional break happens.   When it does, that becomes the focus of the crew and city support staff until it has been repaired and all service restored.

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