Power is restored to the Warm Springs Tribes’ water treatment plant five days after it was disabled by an electrical fire.
Spilyay Tymoo reported Tuesday afternoon that the fire damaged equipment and electrical wiring were restored.
Water is now available to most homes and businesses on the reservation, but a boil water notice is in effect until the entire water system can be tested for safety.
During a Boil Water Notice, people need to bring their tap water to a rolling boil for one minute, and then allow it to cool down before drinking it.
“Residences have water pressure. As a precaution, we issued a boil-water notice that will remain in place through the weekend,” said Chico Holliday, Warm Springs Public Utilities General Manager.
System areas with a Boil Water Notice are Wolfe Pointe, Sunnyside, Upper Dry Creek, the Kah-Nee-Ta Hamlets, the Industrial Park, Miller Heights, the Hwy 26 corridor, campus, Tenino Valley, West Hills, Elliot Heights, Tenino Apartments, the Trailer Court and Greeley Heights.
Holliday thanked Pacific Power & Light, the City of Madras and the governor’s office for sending assistance to repair the troubled water system.
Portable shower trucks, dozens of porta-potties and supplies of fresh water will continue to be available to tribal members near the old Warm Springs elementary school until the entire water distribution system tests safe.
“We have them here for two weeks. They are mostly up on the campus area where the commercial buildings are. People have been using them,” said Glendon Smith, Warm Springs Tribes Treasurer and CEO.
The water system is being super-chlorinated to treat any bacteria that might be in the miles of aging pipes that have been the source of so many problems prior to last week’s electrical fire.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Services and the Environmental Protection Agency are overseeing testing of the water system.
“We have a lot of happy tribal members. Big kudos to Chico and his crew for staying on top of this,” Smith said.