By Judy Reed
According to Cedar Springs DPW Director Roger Belknap, the area lost power about 1:15 p.m. Saturday when a thunderstorm rolled through. This power outage affected the controls to the water distribution wells, and for a period of 7 minutes, water was not being pumped into the City’s water distribution network. This caused a brief drop in pressure until a generator restored power to the well controls.
Belknap said a power outage would not normally affect the water system, but the water tank that normally supplies pressure is offline for maintenance. And although their generator performed perfectly in field tests, when the power went out, a low coolant light came on, causing the generator not to function until they could get coolant into the generator.
DPW staff confirmed that the area affected by the temporary change in pressure was along 17 Mile Rd from Cedar Creek to White Creek Avenue, and a few water services on White Creek Avenue.
DPW staff advised the water customers in the area to boil their water before drinking it, or to drink bottled water during this advisory. This was done as a precaution to make sure bacteria did not get into the system. The first system sample, taken on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., came back with no contamination. The second sample, taken 24 hours later, also came back negative for bacteria Tuesday morning, and the boil water advisory was lifted.
Belknap said anyone affected by the advisory had a notice hand-delivered to them by the DPW on Saturday. He said discolored water simply means that there is iron in the system that has been disturbed due to recent fluctuations in water pressure, and does not indicate it’s contaminated. If you notice discoloration, let your water run for a few minutes and the discoloration should clear up. Washing white clothes is not recommended when you notice discolored water.
“Our water quality is currently as good as it possibly can be,” said Belknap. “It’s not sitting in a water tower. It’s less than a few hours old, and is coming straight from the well and into the water distribution system,” he said.
The water tower is undergoing cleaning and maintenance, inside and out. It should be back online sometime in September, weather permitting.