According to the East Washington Water Corporation Superintendent Nathan Risen, about 2000 water customers in the Canton area are still under a boil water advisory and could be the rest of this week.
“What we’re slowly starting to find out,” he said on the phone Tuesday afternoon, “is that the system just got overtaxed. Everyone was running water to keep their pipes from freezing and we also had a lot of frozen and busted pipes.”
The boil water advisory was issued last Saturday evening. East Washington customers – about 3500 customers – have been asked to conserve water until this issue is resolved.
Risen said the system is served by two tanks, one tank in the Canton area and another on State Road 60.
Risen explained that they initially thought water had been lost from the tank but that wasn’t the case.
“Some of the telemetry was frozen,” he said. “When that thawed out, we realized the gauge was wrong. We’re asking all our customers to use water just for necessities so we can get everybody water,” Risen said. East Washington purchases its water from Salem.
|Risen explained East Washington turned its pumps off for fear of draining Salem’s system.
Risen said the situation is improving and tanks are gradually filling back up. “Our towers are starting to fill up, but we still need our customers to conserve water or we could go back to capacity and overdraw the City of Salem’s supply.”
The boil water advisory is still being observed because Risen said the water company needed to get two consecutive days of good water samples.
He said East Washington was working with the City of Salem to determine what caused the drop.
“We’re gaining…and gaining pretty good in our towers,” Risen said. “We’re certainly going in the right direction. And if we continue like this, we’ll be good shortly. “
Risen asked customers who were unsure if they were part of the Canton population affected to call the water office at 812.883.6429.