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Boil-water order may take months to lift, DEQ says

By Nicole Vowell | Posted - Oct. 15, 2015 at 10:39 a.m.


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GOSHEN (UTAH COUNTY) — Residents affected by a months-long water contamination problem in Goshen will have to wait up to a year for a fix, according to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

Residents from five homes on Sand Hill Road received a written boil-water notice 12 weeks ago from Goshen City officials stating their culinary water was unsafe to use. The boil-order indicated "Fecal Coliform (or E.Coli) bacteria were found in the water supply on July 28, 2015."

"We've been trying to get you (city leaders) to get something done. We've been pushing you," shouted resident Richard Wolf at a town council meeting Tuesday night.

"It's been three and a half months!" Wolf said. "Something has got to be done."

Wednesday, Patti Fauver, Rural Divison of Drinking Water manager for Utah's Department of Environmental Quality said the boil order will be in place for a lot longer than three months.

"The challenge is, it's going to cost (the city) money," Fauver said, "We estimate about $50,000."

Fauver explained the current spring supplying the culinary water for Goshen Township was contaminated with mice droppings and "at least one fish." She said in order to remediate the problem, the Goshen water system will need a chlorination system to purify the spring that is tainting the water to the five homes.

Fauver explained that will take time.

Boil-water order issued for five families in Goshen. Photo: Mike DeBernardo/KSL-TV
Boil-water order issued for five families in Goshen. Photo: Mike DeBernardo/KSL-TV

"They (the city) have to obtain funding, hire an engineer, develop plans and specs, submit the plans and specs to our office for approval. We have to approve them, they have to construct following all those procedures. Then they have to submit information to get an operating permit, and then we will test the water and make sure the water being delivered (from the spring) is total coliform free, not just E.Coli free. At that point we will lift the boil order," she said.

That process could take at minimum six months to a year to complete. "We won't lift the boil order until we feel the water is safe," Fauver said.

Wolf's mother, Bethea Wolf, said her life has been "hell" for the last few months.

"I'd like to go and have a shower," Bethea said.

Richard said he's had enough of sponge baths and boiling drinking water, and adds that his mom got sick in August from what doctors said was an E. Coli infection.

Goshen City officials declined two separate interviews with KSL but residents say the town has provided free water bottles at city hall for those who need it, and water bills have been waived for the time being.

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Nicole Vowell

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