Aug. 5 Boil Water Advisory Major
at Township Board Meeting
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - At the August 17th Township Board Meeting, board members and residents discussed the boil advisory that left East Lansing and Meridian Township residents on high alert. The advisory which occurred on August 5th at 11:35 am only lasted 48 hours after an issue with a water plant filter could have potentially caused bacteria in the water.
Clyde Dugan the Manager of the East Lansing Meridian Water and Sewer Authority spoke to the board and residents about the precautionary notice.
“A worker took filter number two out of service and inadvertently backwashed the number three filter which was still in service at the time. The flow reversal caused an upset in the filter and released some of the trap particulate into the drinking water. When they received this limit we are required to contact the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality within 24 hours,” said Dugan.
Although the advisory was notified to residents, the interval of the incident and the time that the public was notified was taken into question.The incident happened at 2:58 am and at 8:35 am, DEQ recommended to implement the advisory, which was when the public was notified at 11:35 am.
“Under federal regulation this is considered a tier two violation which means there is no immediate danger to public health so there is no immediate notification. If we had an event that constituted a tier 1 violation the time intervals would have been much different. We were taking action at the plant to make sure we were continuing to provide clean drinking water to the distribution system,” Dugan said.
To ensure that this does not happen again the East Lansing Meridian Water and Sewer Authority has implemented new procedures. Two workers are now required to be present during filter backwash.
At its regular meeting on Thursday, Augugust 18, the ELMWSA Board of Trustees reviewed the incident and authorized the addition of interlocked controls on the filters.