The city of Hailey announced that its public drinking water was safe for consumption on Saturday morning, less than 72 hours after a problematic water-main break that occurred Wednesday afternoon in Woodside subdivision. Test results from water samples taken after the line break tested clean on Saturday.
"The city Water Department followed Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulations, taking several samples of water from the repaired water-pressure zone, with at least a 24-hour gap between samples. The samples came back showing no contaminants present from harmful bacteria that can potentially enter a water system when water pressure is suddenly reduced," the city stated.
Water Department crews and a local excavation contractor worked late into the night on Wednesday, replacing a split 20-foot section of 8-inch pipe buried 6-feet deep. Water service was partially restored on Wednesday evening and completely restored the following morning. A boil-water advisory was put into effect until the water could be properly tested.
The water-main break occurred in the pressure zone that includes Woodside subdivision south of Winterhaven Drive. The city, under advice from DEQ, notified 650 households within the South Woodside pressure zone to take precautions with drinking water over the 72-hour period following the water-main break.
A "code red" was sent by the Blaine County Communications Center at the request of Hailey’s mayor, through which 820 phone numbers were reached with a message about the boil-water advisory. The city also directly contacted individual households on Wednesday.
The city is reminding its citizens to sign up for code red messages on the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office website. The communication tool is used only during emergencies, wherein a few hours can make a difference to life-safety.