By Boyd C. Allen

Pilot Staff Writer

Brookings officials announced Tuesday they have corrected a mechanical failure at a water treatment site. The failure resulted in water not receiving sufficient disinfection April 7 and April 8, City Manager Janell Howard said.

According to project manager Michael Matheson, the device regulating the addition of chlorine to the water at the induction site malfunctioned. Workers had to use a boat to access the Rainey intake on North Bank Chetco River Road due to flooding on and near the Chetco River.

The pump at that site draws water from 48 to 50 feet below the ground, and the water is minimally treated there before treatment is completed at the water plant, he said.

“We are required to disinfect drinking water taken from the Chetco River, and for a period of 13 hours, we did not provide enough treatment time because of a mechanical failure and our inability to access the disinfection unit due to flooding,” Howard said.

This was a violation of water treatment requirements and the city is required to notify the public accordingly, Howard added.

She said the situation was not an emergency and when flood water receded on the Chetco River, repair crews were able to access the disinfection unit and make corrections.

The problem was not a recurring issue, according to Howard, and the city had received no reports of illness.

The city did not detect evidence of contamination in, or other health threats to, its source water, according to the report. The report said the city is committed to maintaining the required level of treatment but was unable to correct the problem immediately because the malfunctioning equipment was isolated by flood water.

The report said inadequately treated water may contain bacteria, viruses and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches. These symptoms, however, are not caused only by organisms in drinking water, but also by other factors. If people using city water April 7 or April 8 experienced any of these symptoms and they persist, they may want to seek medical advice.

“There is nothing city water users need to do,” Howard said. “You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.”

For more information, please contact Michael Matheson at (541) 412-0424 or .

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