Louisville and Superior Boil Water Order is Lifted By CDPHE 

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has lifted the boil water order issued January 3 for the City of Louisville and Town of Superior stemming from the Marshall Fire. CDPHE coordinated with both Louisville and Superior to ensure their water treatment systems are working properly and the water reaching customers meets all state and federal water quality standards. CDPHE and both water systems collected water samples to test for multiple pollutants, including bacteria and volatile organic compounds (such as benzene). All water test results indicated that drinking water meets all drinking water standards and is safe for human consumption.

If your water has been turned off, sampling and testing continues. See further information below.

It Is Critical That Water Customers Flush Their Systems

Louisville and Superior water customers must flush their interior pipes before resuming regular use. During flushing some colored water may come out of your pipes.

For residential properties:

  • Flush the plumbing in your home by running all cold water faucets for at least five minutes each. Begin with the lowest faucet in your home and then open the other faucets one at a time, moving from the lowest floor to the highest. After five minutes, turn off your faucets in reverse order, from highest to lowest.
  • Flush all appliances connected to the water line, such as refrigerators and dishwashers. To flush your refrigerator, remove the filter and let water run through it for five minutes. An easy way to flush your dishwasher is to run it twice without any dishes in it.
  • Disposable filters that have come in contact with contaminated water should be removed and replaced.
  • Ice from ice makers should be dumped and replaced three times. Ice maker containers should be wiped clean with a solution of two tablespoons bleach to one gallon of water.

Additional information for businesses, hospitals, health care facilities and nursing homes:  

  • Make sure equipment with water line connections is flushed, cleaned, and sanitized according to manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Managers of large buildings with water-holding reservoirs should consult with their facility engineer and health department about draining the reservoir.
  • Flush pipes and faucets. Run cold water faucets continuously for at least 5 minutes.
  • Flush drinking fountains. Run water continuously for at least 5 minutes.
  • Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle.
  • Drain and refill hot water heaters set below 113°F.
  • Change all point-of-entry and point-of-use water filters, including those associated with equipment that uses water.
  • After flushing is complete, you can resume usual bathing practices and care for patients with breaks in the skin.

Louisville is committed to providing safe water to our community. If you are adjacent to a fire affected area and have concerns about your water, or if your water smells like gasoline or plastic after completing flushing, please call (720) 824-3100 or email marshallfire@louisvilleco.gov and a representative of the Louisville drinking water team will come and test the water coming to your property.

Water Remains Off for Some Homes as Testing Continues 

If your home is located in a severely fire-impacted area, your water may not yet be turned on while sampling and testing continues.

Parts of the water distribution systems that were burned by the fire are sealed off from unaffected areas. We will continue to isolate areas of our systems to prevent contaminants from entering uncontaminated areas of the distribution system. We plan to keep all properties in the fire-impacted areas isolated and without water service until additional recovery efforts are determined.

If you are back in your home and your water has been turned off, please call (720) 824-3100 or email marshallfire@louisvilleco.gov for additional information.

Firefighting Efforts Lead to Boil Water Order  

During the unprecedented fire last week, Louisville’s water system experienced extreme demand from firefighting efforts. Despite the efforts to keep water pressure up for firefighting, the system continued to lose pressure as the fire damaged the system. One of the emergency measures taken to restore pressure to the system was to release untreated Marshall Reservoir water into the distribution systems.

A boil water order was issued after this emergency measure due to the possibility of pathogens and contaminants entering our water systems during firefighting efforts. Over the past few days, we have been flushing our systems and testing the water to ensure that it meets all state and federal water quality standards. All water test results indicated that the water meets all drinking water standards and is safe for human consumption.

Summary of Sampling Efforts

To prepare to lift the boil water order after the Marshall Fire, City of Louisville staff worked closely with the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) to determine water quality sampling locations and what to sample for.

The city identified 16 sample sites to test for chlorine residuals and bacteria and completed sampling on January 5, 2022. The city routinely uses chlorine for disinfection in the water treatment process. Laboratory results confirmed that there is adequate disinfection throughout the city. Chlorine residuals must be at least 0.2 mg/L, and the target level of chlorine residuals entering the distribution system is between 1.0 and 1.2 mg/L. All chlorine samples taken on January 5, 2022, fell within this normal range.

Laboratory results also confirmed that bacteria was not present in the water quality samples.  

The city also monitored for a group of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at 13 sampling locations. VOCs include a variety of mostly human-made chemicals that are used in products such as paints and building materials. Exposure to VOCs may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. VOC contamination has been found after fires in communities in California and Oregon due to impacts to the water distribution system.

While VOC contamination is not always found at high levels after a fire, the city is working closely with experts from universities and private firms to understand potential impacts and determine an ongoing sampling plan.

The city started sampling for VOCs on January 4, 2022. All of the results of Louisville’s VOC monitoring came back as non-detect, which means that VOCs were not present in the drinking water samples, or they were present at such low amounts that the laboratory was not able to detect them.

The city will continue to sample for VOCs throughout the drinking water system over the coming weeks and will release the results on our website. 

If you are adjacent to a fire affected area and have concerns about your water, or if your water smells like gasoline or plastic after completing flushing, please call (720) 824-3100 or email marshallfire@louisvilleco.gov and a representative of the Louisville drinking water team will come and test the water coming to your property.

The City of Louisville is committed to providing safe drinking water and sharing information with residents about water quality. The city’s annual drinking water report provides more information on what the city regularly tests for and can be found at https://www.louisvilleco.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/33699/637770893529198226.

Bottled and Bulk Water Distribution

  • Louisville Recreation & Senior Center (900 W Via Appia)
  • Friday, January 7 Open 8 AM – 12 PM View Map >
  • Bottled Water Available
  • Bulk Water Available (bring your own container)

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