Shawnee, Meeker, and PCDA customers under Precautionary Boil Order
February 18, 2021
Editor's note: This story was updated on Feb. 20 at 3:00 p.m., to include information about Bethel Acres' water supply. At 6:45 p.m., the word 'mandatory' was changed to 'precautionary', to more accurately reflect the nature of the city's boil order. We do apologize for the confusion. This story will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.
The City of Shawnee has issued a precautionary boil order for all water customers due to a shortage of chemicals needed to treat water.
Rumors have stated the water will be shut off for some time. However, the Countywide and Sun reached out to Mayor Ed Bolt and City Manager Chance Allison and have been told the water will continue to flow.
The Countywide & Sun also spoke with Pottawatomie County Development Authority Chairman, Marty Lewis. Lewis said the issue with the non potable water in Shawnee also affects the rural water district since the PCDA purchases its treated water from Shawnee. Lewis said PCDA is also issuing a mandatory boil order.
"There is no switchover," said Allison.
He said the city has run out of the chemical to treat the water. According to the post the city has used a months supply of chemicals in a short time and suppliers are having trouble keeping up with the high demand caused by the recent weather issues.
"I'm not sure the exact time frame when non potable water will be predominantly in the system," said Allison. "It will take a little time for the treated [water] to run out. I would start boiling now to be cautious."
The post states "customers should boil water at a hard, rolling boil for at least one minute before consumption, drinking, use in food preparation (including baby formula), brushing teeth, making ice, wound care, and bathing infants who may ingest the water or use another drinking water source such as bottled water until the tap water is safe to drink again."
A second rumor involved the city of Shawnee shutting off water to other municipalities that purchase treated water from it. A post on the Town of Meeker Facebook page states, "City of Shawnee is having some problems with water and will be shutting off Meeker for a time...will update when I know more." Allison confirmed water to Meeker and Bethel Acres will be temporarily shut off and should be back on this afternoon.
Bolt said, "The Shawnee plant is being re-pressurized. They will be going back on."
Shawnee, Meeker and PCDA customers (Bethel) will all be under the DEQ boil order, according to Bolt.
Update: As of 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, Bethel Acres' water capacity has been restored to 75%, according to Bolt. Meeker customers remain offline, and crews continue to work.