UPDATE: Evansdale Boil Order Advisory
Waterloo School officials are not planning to cancel classes at the district's two buildings in Evansdale when students return from the holiday break on Wednesday (Jan. 3, 2018).
District leaders are working to address the water boil order in Evansdale. They said bottled water will be available during the day for students and staff at both Poyner Elementary and Bunger Middle schools. Bathrooms are safe to use and there will be hand sanitizers at each location.
Regarding school meals, district officials confirmed that the food will be safely prepared off-site and brought to each school to serve.
Evansdale city officials issued the boil water advisory Monday night after the town's water tower froze in the extreme cold and left the community without water for about 90 minutes. Mayor Doug Faas said it appears the sensors that tell the pumps to bring more water to the tower got iced-over in the sub-zero temperatures.
The mayor explained: "When those froze, it also froze the alarm system -- and then what happened was because no water was circulating there, it developed an ice cap on top of the water level in the tower -- which meant (the system) couldn't provide any to the city."
Faas said city officials are hoping a company that uses wands of heated water can clear out the ice cap in the tower.
"For lack of a better term, they use power washers," Faas said, referring to a team of specialists from the company. "They climb clear up to the top of the water tower and they have these wands -- and down at the bottom they have not quite boiling water -- and they just spray it in there until the ice cap melts."
Faas is expecting the team to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday this week, but he doesn't know how long the process will last.
"It could take any where from 18 minutes to two days," Faas said, "That's a pretty big span. Unfortunately, the longer that water sits there not being circulated, the more thick that ice cap becomes."
The boil advisory in Evansdale will be in place until at least Thursday. By then, city officials should know if any bacteria entered the water system during the failure.
Until the order is lifted, Evansdale residents should boil water for one minute and let it cool. At that point, residents can drink the water or use it for cooking or brushing their teeth.
Faas said the city is getting a delivery of pallets of water, which should be available for Evansdale residents to pick up at the Community Response Center starting Tuesday afternoon. After business hours, a number will be posted in the building's lobby for residents to call and arrange for a police officer or firefighter to deliver a case or two of water to them.
To prevent further issues, Faas is urging residents to keep a faucet trickling in the lowest part of their home until the water system is operating normally again.
Specific instructions on what residents should do before using city water are posted on the following Facebook links.