BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - Test results are back and Broken Arrow officials say the city's water is free of contaminants.
City Manager Thom Moton has canceled the water emergency issued Tuesday after a substantial water main break left Broken Arrow nearly without water.
“I am very excited at this news,” said Broken Arrow Mayor Craig Thurmond. “I was up all night worrying about this city. I am extremely glad our community can return to a sense of normalcy.”
In an emailed statement, Stephanie Higgins, director of communications for the city of BA, said the city's water supply is replenished and water customers may return to normal usage.
RELATED: Broken Arrow hospital, restaurants forced to close due to water emergency (http://bit.ly/15WWhF9)
On Tuesday, water levels were low enough Moton issued a water emergency for the city and a warning that the supply could run out if customers didn't conserve.
Repairs to the break were made by Tuesday evening but it took more than a day to refill the storage tanks.
Water testing began Wednesday and those results returned Thursday morning, showing the supply is free of contaminates, ending the water emergency.
RELATED: Restaurant owners say shutdown is costing them thousands of dollars (http://bit.ly/1a5eTpQ)
On Wednesday, the Tulsa County Health Department ordered Broken Arrow food establishments to cease operations because of unsatisfactory water levels and the boil order. The health department is now working with the city to contact food service entities affected by the boil advisory, said Higgins.
According to the health department, restaurants must flush the building water lines and clean faucet screens and water line strainers on dishwashers, then they can reopen. More specific instructions from the health department are as follows:
- Cold Water Faucets: Run tap water until the water feels cold, 1 minute or more, before drinking, tooth brushing, or using for food preparation.
- Hot Water Faucets: To clear hot water pipes and water heater of untreated water, turn on all hot water faucets and flush for a minimum of 15 minutes for a typical household 40-gallon hot water tank and 30 minutes for an 80-gallon hot water tank or larger. Never use water from the “hot” faucet for drinking, cooking, or other internal-consumption purposes. After this flushing, hot water is then safe to use for washing hands, and for hand washing of dishes, pots and pans, etc.
- Refrigerators: Water dispensers from refrigerators should be flushed by at least one quart of water.
- Dishwashers: After flushing hot water pipes and water heater, run dishwasher empty one time.
- Ice cubes: Automatic ice dispensers should be emptied of ice made during the boil order. Then, discard ice made over an additional 24 hour period to assure complete purging of the water supply line.
St. John Broken Arrow Hospital also closed Wednesday, transferring patients to Tulsa and Owasso due to the water shortage and "potential water contamination issues," said Joy McGill, St. John Health System spokeswoman.
“As a result of concerns with potential water contamination from Tuesday’s water main break, St. John Broken Arrow made a voluntary decision Wednesday to temporarily discontinue operations,” said David Phillips, St. John Broken Arrow chief executive officer. “Patient safety is our highest priority, and we believe taking these precautionary measures was the right thing to do. We are fortunate that our patients were efficiently transferred to other St. John hospitals.”
After test results showed no water contaminants, McGill said the hospital returned to regular operations, though they are replacing all water filters and flushing all water systems. Patient rooms were cleaned overnight with purified water, she said.
Broken Arrow splash pads and city pools are back in business and will close at their regular times.
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