MANSFIELD -- We know Mansfield's citywide water boil advisory has been a bit confusing since news about it began late Monday afternoon. At the risk of being accused of a bad pun, it's been a fluid situation.
First the primary facts. The boil advisory will now begin this evening at 6 p.m., according to water treatment plant manager Bill Wallace, and will continue until at least Wednesday at 6 p.m. And there is no indication at this time there are any safety issues with the city's water supply.
We spoke to Wallace today just before 11 a.m. and he offered additional insights. We also got an updated e-mail from Public Works Director Dave Remy around 10:30 a.m.
Unexpected maintenance has to be done at the water treatment plant along Lexington-Springmill Road. When the issue was first discovered on Monday, the city announced an immediate citywide boil advisory and water conservation effort.
Within a few hours, Remy announced the conservation effort would not be necessary. Around 10 p.m., he announced the boil advisory would begin today at 7 a.m. The initial plan was to install a bypass water pump during the night, needed to do the maintenance work. That meant an early-morning start to the advisory.
Because the pipe that will go into the water for the bypass pump is a foreign object, it has a possibility of introducing bacteria into the water system. Any time there is a potential for contamination, a boil advisory is issued until bacteria samples are collected and tested to ensure the absence of bacteria.
It's really no different than an isolated water main break somewhere in the city that could impact a small area. In this instance, it's coming directly from the water treatment plant, so the boil advisory is citywide.
Wallace said the decision was made to delay the bypass pump installation in order to better get the word out to the public. That work will begin at 6 p.m. and that's when the boil advisory takes effect. He said an initial water sample will be taken and that it takes 24 hours to determine if any contamination has taken place.
If no contamination is found, the advisory ends Wednesday at 6 p.m. If something is found, the advisory will be continued, he said.
"There is no problem with the current water quality and this is a precautionary measure for the potential of bacteria formation. The advisory has been modified to begin at 6 p.m. today, Dec. 31, 2019, and will be lifted at 6:00 p.m. on Jan. 1, 2020 unless otherwise stated," Remy said in an e-mail.
We will stay in touch with Remy and Wallace and other city officials as needed and will keep you updated as needed.
Thanks for your patience. We know it's been confusing. We promise to do our best to keep sorting it out.