PAWNEE ROCK — Members of the Pawnee Rock city council are hopeful the city’s Boil Water Advisory was issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Tuesday, Jan. 7 will be lifted soon.
Council member Chris Mead has been working closely with KDHE to resolve the issue. According to Mead, the city self-reported the issue.
“We were not sure that our equipment was working 100 % as intended on the water system,” she said. A daily test showed chlorine residuals in the sample were low. Since then, the system’s chlorine regulator has been repaired by the city’s interim water and wastewater operator Charles Suchy. The city approved the contract with Suchy at a special called meeting on Jan. 2.
“We have been working with KDHE by taking chlorine residual samples throughout the city, all samples tested good within KDHE requirements,”Mead stated in an email to the Tribune Wednesday afternoon. “Bacterial samples have been sent to KDHE for testing for extra precautions.”
Suchy is closely monitoring the system and the boil advisory is an extra precaution to ensure the safety of the citizens of Pawnee Rock until all samples are tested and within the KDHE requirements, she added.
The former city maintenance director Shane Bowman resigned effective Dec. 31, and the city declined his proposal to contract with him to perform water testing from Jan. 1 to Jan. 13. This was according to unofficial minutes of a special called city council meeting of Dec. 27 for the consideration of letters of resignation from both Bowman and City Clerk Sharon Anglemyer who’s final day will be Jan. 9. At that meeting, the council agreed to reach out to the City of Larned for mutual aid to supply a certified person to cover the position in the interim.
The Great Bend Tribune contacted Larned City Manager Brad Eilts, who confirmed Pawnee Rock’s request. Mead did contact him, he said, and after some discussion, he felt the city could help, but suggested that any mutual aid be provided through an entity such as the Kansas Rural Water Association.
“This would be the most equitable way for our community to help out,” he said.
According to the Jan. 2 special meeting unofficial minutes, Pawnee Rock council members Paul Umble, Joyce Link and Mead met with Doug Guenther with the Kansas Rural Water Association and Suchy to discuss the proposed contract and obtaining access to buildings and systems to complete the water checks at that time. Umble presided over the meeting due to the absence of Mayor Linda Waite. Council member Deb Bader was also absent.
Unofficial minutes for both the Dec. 27 and the Jan. 2 special meetings were submitted to the Tribune by Waite.