DEXTER - Dexter Utility District officials hope to lift a boil water order Wednesday after samples of water from the reservoir are tested at the Department of Human Services' Bureau of Health.The boil water order went into effect Friday when utility district officials discovered that the reservoir was nearly empty. Frost that had settled deeper into the ground than usual, causing leaks in older water mains, and faucets that were left on during the cold snap to prevent freeze-ups contributed to the low water supply, according to Greg Brawn, chairman of the utility board.
"This has been an unusual winter with a tremendous amount of frost," Brawn said, Monday. At one job site, he said, workers found 51/2 feet of frost in the ground. All of the breaks this winter have occurred in the older pipes, not the new lines that were installed over the past two years, according to Brawn. Utility workers discovered a broken main under a fire hydrant that probably drew the water down to the critical level.
The water level had drained to about 28 inches, compared to a normal level of 16 to 17 feet, Brawn said. The low water level would have seriously hampered any fire suppression efforts, so district officials opted to fill the reservoir with unfiltered water from Lake Wassookeag, he said. Even though the water continued to be chlorinated, the utility district had to issue the boil water order to comply with state law. The reservoir is nearly full again and the three filters in the filtration system are now being cleaned, according to Brawn. He said the district would filtrate the water for 24 hours and then take samples to the state for testing by early Wednesday.
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