The Bradford City Water Authority issued a boil water advisory at 7:30 p.m. Thursday for the Bradford City water system. This advisory was a result of the malfunction of a chemical feed pump at the Bradford water treatment plant Thursday, which caused higher than normal turbidity for a very short period of time.
All customers of the Bradford City Water system are included in this advisory, including Bradford, Foster and Lafayette Townships as well as Lewis Run Boro.
Bradford City Water Authority Director Steve Disney clarified that problem is not due to a chemical spill; the chemical feed pump uses polyaluminum chloride, which is a good chemical to put in the water. Polyaluminum chloride gets injected into raw water to help coagulate any particles in there to help filter them out.
The turbidity started to climb above normal levels because the dosage of polyaluminum chloride from the feed pump dropped.
He said the DEP wants all the water that was coming through the plant at that time to be totally distributed through the system before the boil water advisory is lifted. Disney anticipates it could take four to five days.
The water authority will keep the public updated of any changes.
According to Disney, plant operators corrected the malfunctioning pump as soon as it was detected, however subsequent conversations with the Department of Environmental Protection indicated that as a precautionary measure, the system should issue a temporary boil water advisory to err on the side of caution.
A boil water advisory means that you should consider boiling water for one minute before using for washing dishes, food preparation, brushing teeth, making ice or consumption.
The boil water advisory is effective immediately and will remain in place until such time authorities determine that all affected water supplies have been refreshed.
Turbidity has no health effects however, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a means for microbial growth. These organisms include bacteria viruses and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches. Those individuals with severely compromised immune systems, such as infants and some elderly persons may be at increased risk.
If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice as these symptoms are not only caused by organisms in drinking water.
Throughout the next several days, the water authority will be taking representative samples from around the system to monitor corrective actions have been successful.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Bradford City Water Authority at 814-362-3004 or visit www.bradfordwater.com