A boil-water advisory or boil-water order is a public health advisory or directive issued by a public drinking water system or by health authorities to consumers when a community’s drinking water is or could be contaminated by disease-causing organisms. It is a preventive measure that is intended to protect the health of water consumers when there is an actual or significant possibility that contamination may be present within the drinking water system.
In 2018, the City of Albany issued a boil-water advisory on June 26 to eight residential customers and Oak Elementary School due to a complete loss of water pressure in a main after contractors damaged the main line on Oak Street. The loss of water pressure could have resulted in the backflow or infiltration of unclean water into the City’s water main, posing a potential risk to the health of our customers. City staff communicated the advisory to the public by knocking on doors and leaving door hangers on each property within the affected area. In addition, the school was notified by phone.
The water main was repaired and water pressure restored within a few hours. However, the advisory lasted for one day because of the time it takes to analyze the water for the presence of bacteria. Once the results were received showing no presence of bacteria, City staff used the same methods of communication to notify the public the water was safe for consumption. We again learned from the experience how to make the process more efficient should we need to issue an advisory in the future. The health of the community is our top priority and Albany will continue to follow best management practices to reduce the risk of contamination entering the water system.
The Linn-Benton Alert Emergency Notification System and Nixle are the two quickest ways to be notified of a water emergency and other types of emergencies in our area via text message, email or voice message. These systems require customers to sign up and set notification preferences. All local residents are encouraged to get connected and stay informed.