Meadows No Water

Tenants of The Meadows pulled water from the Big Wood River in April, the last time the park's water system failed. Residents also lost water in March.

For the third time in six months, the water supply to The Meadows trailer park south of Ketchum has been shut down temporarily due to a technical breakdown.

The breakdowns in March and April each led to a “boil water notice” for residents to avoid sickness from contamination from back-flow into the system.

The third water outage, which occurred over last weekend, did not result in a boil notice.

Mid-Valley Water Co., managed by George Kirk, supplies water to 450 people through 158 water connections, said Idaho Department of Water Quality Administrator Jerri Henry.

“Water systems are required to post a boil notice within 24 hours if the pressure drops below 20 pounds per square inch,” Henry said.

According to sources living at the trailer park, the system malfunctioned Friday evening and the water supply was cut off for about 12 hours. The water was then on at very low pressure until Monday morning.

Kirk did not return email and telephone requests for comment, but Blaine County Commissioner Angenie McCleary said she was notified Friday about the outage. McCleary said she was in contact with Kirk by text only and was told that the pressure did not drop low enough for a boil notice to be issued.

Henry said water systems like the one at the Meadows are allowed by approval from the Department of Environmental Quality, but not under an annual permit. She said DEQ inspects the systems every three to five years for “significant deficiencies.”

“Repeated power outages could be a significant deficiency,” Henry told the Express.

Henry said she did not know whether the water system was required to have a backup generator.

McCleary said she would like to see the Mid-Valley Water Co. come up with a better backup plan. She said she was notified that a mechanical or electronic part to fix the water system was in Boise on Friday, but not delivered to the trailer park until Monday.

“I don’t know why it took until Monday to get the part,” she said. “People want to feel confident in their water system and they should be able to.”

McCleary said she spoke to one of the owners of the Meadows trailer park, who lives in California. He was “very responsive” about the incident, McCleary said, and told her his company might help pay for a backup well to ensure water delivery.

“My concern is that the renters there will end up seeing an increase in their rent bills as a result,” McCleary said.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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