A1 water, sinkhole, two options (2).JPG

Sink hole at the east end of Columbia Street, location of the water line break, taped off by the city.

UPDATE, JAN. 22, 2 P.M.

The City of Hood River has confirmed that city water is safe for drinking.

The Boil Water Advisory has been lifted as of 1:30 p.m. Jan. 22, after test results confirmed no evidence of harmful bacteria in the water system due to the Sunday evening leak in a city water line.

The city advises affected water customers to flush all household plumbing prior to consuming water as a precaution. Due to higher than normal velocities in the water pipes during the event, you may discover sediment that was scoured from the water lines. The city advises users to continue flushing household plumbing until the sediment is removed, and recommends removing the screens from your faucets to clean them.

As the water system is fully restored to service, you may experience air in your lines, indicated by spitting or burping at the faucet, cloudiness in the water that rapidly dissipates when allowed to settle (i.e., in a glass set on the counter) and bubbles or foam. “This is normal, and not a cause for concern,” said a city press release.

Hood River County Environmental Health department also advises city water users who use ice machines to discard the ice and thoroughly sanitize the machine. Water filters should be replaced and any other appliances that use water should be sanitized according to the manufacturers’ directions. Any food that was prepared or washed after Sunday night using raw water should be discarded.  Food prepared using boiled water is safe.

The county environmental health department also reminds residents to take precautions to re-stock any emergency supplies used during this event, and to take the opportunity to discuss this event with your family and make improvements to your family emergency plans and supplies.

If you are concerned that you have become sick from this event, please contact your primary medical provider; emergency room visits are for serious illnesses and injuries only.

“Thank you for your patience and understanding,” said a city press release, “If you have questions or concerns, please call the City of Hood River water department 541- 387-5216.”

UPDATE, JAN. 21, 4:11 P.M.

There is currently no evidence of harmful bacteria in the water system, reports the City of Hood River, but the Boil Water Advisory remains in effect as a precautionary measure. The city anticipates receiving water sample results from the laboratory mid-day Wednesday, Jan. 22 and will update the public again at that time.  

"The Public Works department is following precautionary measures to ensure public safety," said the City of Hood River in a press release. 

Hood River County Environmental Health is requesting that all food establishments remain closed. Tourist facilities should help their guests find safe water to consume and for sanitation, and establishments are asked to  consider supplying bottled water to their guests. Other surrounding public water systems (Crystal Springs, Ice Fountain, etc.) are all safe to consume. 

"Thank you for your patience and understanding. If you have questions or concerns please call the City of Hood River water department (541) 387-5216," said the press release. 

The City of Hood River enacted a Boil Water Advisory on Monday, following a leak in the city’s water main Sunday evening.

The break happened around 6 p.m. on Third Street near Union building beneath a sink hole, said Hood River Police Lt. Don Cheli, but the cause of the leak is unknown, and the incident is currently under investigation.

City Public Works will be investigating the incident and will report when further information is forthcoming. “We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience,” Acting Public Works Director Wade Seaborn said in Monday morning email. “We hope to have more information to share soon.”

Much of downtown Hood River’s central business district, as well as some outlying areas within the city, lost water service for approximately an hour Sunday night, between 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.

“Of course it’s not ideal with the timing,” said Full Sail General Manager Lisa Merkin of the water outage Monday, referencing the holiday weekend traffic, “but there’s nothing we can do, so we have to do the best we can for the customer and for the business.”

Many businesses in the affected downtown area closed up shop on Monday, posting signs about the water advisory, but some found ways to keep the doors open: The Moth Lounge confirmed they would be open for their Monday evening music act, the Hapa Hillbillies, with a Facebook post stating they would have bottled water and store-bought ice; and, aside from not serving customers water and ice, Full-Sail Brewing was business-as-usual.

While Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital lost water for about 50 minutes Monday evening, according to spokesman Gary Walker, the hospital’s operations were largely unaffected by both the service outage and the water advisory.

When asked by a reporter why the city waited overnight to issue the advisory, City Manager Rachael Fuller said that they needed time to assess the situation and determine the extent of the damage.

The advisory was issued as a precaution in case of harmful bacteria in the water due to the loss of water pressure during the incident, or excessive air in the water lines, said a city press release, and remains in effect until the city can confirm that there’s no bacteria in the water. 

Water samples were sent out for testing Monday and are expected back at noon on Tuesday.

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