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Osage Nation donates $110K to help fix Hominy water issues

Posted at 4:50 PM, May 20, 2024

HOMINY, Okla. — The Osage Nation is stepping up to help the city of Hominy fix its water problems.

Hominy was under a boil order for two and a half weeks after the DEQ found E. coli in the water supply.

The order was lifted on May 22, after this story was initially published.

“It’s an impact,” said Shelby Reed.
Shelby Reed has lived in Hominy her entire life. Water has been top of mind for her family for the last few weeks.

“We’ve gotten into a pattern of using the water bottles for almost everything,” said Reed.

2 News was in Hominy when the boil order was issued:

BOIL ORDER: E. coli in Hominy water causing disruptions

Water bottles are stacked high inside her home, where she collects clean drinking water from the city every other day.

“It’s a little rough, but we’re doing what we need to do,” said Reed.

Reed is one of nearly 3,000 people in town who are dealing with the boil order. On May 5, routine testing found E. coli in the water supply. The Department of Environmental Quality is making everyone boil their water so no one gets sick.

Interim City Manager Diana Garrett says severe weather worsened the problem just one day after the order was issued.

“Our plant was offline for quite a while, which meant that threw all the chemical processes off, so on top of the order, the chlorination was disrupted,” said Diana Garrett.

Living in town, Osage Nation Congressman John Maker said he’s seeing the issue firsthand.

“You don’t know what it’s like until you have to go through boiling water for everything every day,” said Congressman Maker.

Congressmen John Maker, Joe Tillman, and Eli Potts sponsored legislation to get Hominy more than $110,000 for a new SCADA system, which is basically the brains of the water plant.

“It was important for the Osage Nation to step up and do some things to help these folks along,” said Congressman Joe Tillman.

The money will help with the aging infrastructure, which Garrett says is part of the problem.
“It’s becoming increasingly difficult for it to manage the water plant and the flow of chemicals through the system,” said Garrett. “I know it’s going to make a huge difference.”

The city has been flushing the entire system for the last two weeks. Reed and her family are thankful for the donation to fix this for good.

“That’s what I love about our small town; we just come together when things like this happen,” said Reed.

The city said the DEQ was in town on May 20, and their chlorine levels looked good. They’ll resample the test sites, and the city should know if the boil order can be lifted by May 22.

The city is still distributing water at the Hominy Fire Department from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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