Leaks force Archer to shut off water, issue boil notice

Published: Monday, October 7, 2013 at 2:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 7, 2013 at 2:12 p.m.

The city of Archer shut off its water for part of the day Sunday and Monday while it repaired two breaks in its water line and has issued a boil-water notice for residents that remains in effect.

Assistant City Manager John Mayberry said a pair of water leaks occurred Sunday, and the city shut the water off that afternoon to begin repairing the lines. Those repairs continued Monday.

The water pressure dropped Sunday below 20 pounds per square inch, so the city issued a boiled-water notice as a precaution as required by state standards.

“It’s nothing out of the norm,” he said. “It’s just what you do when this happens.”

The notice recommends people bring to a boil for one minute any water they are going to use for personal consumption — for either drinking or cooking. It is then safe to drink and can be stored and used later without the need for re-boiling, Mayberry said. It is safe to use city water for bathing without boiling it first.

People can get more information on the boil-water notice on the city’s website, cityofarcher.com.

The city turned its water off for about four hours Sunday afternoon and put the boiled-water notice into effect around 5:30 or 6 p.m. that evening.

It turned the water back on that night so people could shower for work the next morning and then turned it off again Monday around 9:30 a.m. to continue its repair work, Mayberry said. It finished fixing the leaks in the water line and turned the water back on around 2:30 p.m.

The city still is investigating the cause of the water line breaks. The city took a water sample Monday and will take another Tuesday, which will be sent to a lab for analysis, he said. Once the city ensures there are no contaminants, it will rescind the boil-water notice.

Mayberry thanked residents on behalf of the city for helping the city get the word out to their neighbors about the boil-water notice. City staff visited local restaurants and businesses to tell them about the situation and give them notices to place on their doors. Mayor Frank Ogborn made calls from home asking people to let their neighbors know about the notice.

The city made it a point to be proactive about informing residents of the problems with the water system, Mayberry said.

“You know, in a town this size, everybody knows everybody, so we were trying to stay ahead of the curve,” he said.

Jackie Johnson, spokeswoman for Alachua County Public Schools, said Archer Elementary School faculty heard about the boil-water order Sunday night and requested bottled water from the schools warehouse for Monday.

Around 11 a.m. Monday, the water went out completely, so “flushing the toilets is an issue,” but the school had plenty of hand sanitizer for everyone, Johnson said.

Students were not sent home from school Monday due to the water situation.

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