The people who work for the rural water association that supplies water to the area around Two Mile Ranch have had a rough beginning to the new year.
December 31, some of their equipment which helps purify water failed. Since then, they’ve placed a boil water advisory, and I imagine they have been working some long days to restore drinking water back to the clarity and condition that passes regulatory inspection. (Note the url links to their main site and may be replaced in the future when the water returns to normal.)
Water treatment plans can be compromised during bad weather or other natural disasters. In 1993, Des Moines municipal water plant was over run by flood waters, resulting in several days without water to the capital city.
For an off-grid farmstead, water comes from a private well, and the resident may collect a sample to be tested once a year or so. On grid water systems have regular testing and monitoring. So a trade off is being warned about a potential risk and worrying — or — not being warned, not knowing, and worrying.
In this part of the state, wells tend to be shallow-dug wells of 20 – 40 feet and are often more likley to be contaminated by ground water.
Wells cased with 36-inch diameter concrete tile are popular in southern Iowa where shallow wells tap groundwater deposits that often yield less than five gallons per minute. But leaky joints between tile casing segments at the top of the well can lead to bacterial contamination. Iowa State Extension
What’s the risk? In our case now, the problem is the water clarity and turbid water, as the report suggests, has a higher potential for contamination. In either case, I keep 3 – 4 gallons of bottled water on hand all the time — in the event of frozen pipes, or other issues.
The other interesting idea is how we came to know about the problem. I am probably like many people, and while I lok at lots of sources in the world wide web, I don’t typically visit the water associate web site. It was by chance I heard a radio news item about the advisory — often I don’t hear radio news. Just the same, I had noticed the water was a bit cloudy on New Years eve…….