Homer boil order lifted

HOMER  - A boil order for the village of Homer has been lifted.

Village Clerk Sharon Jeffers said the order to boil water for drinking was lifted about 8:30 a.m. Friday after four different water samples were found to be fine.

A drop in pressure in the water system about 7:30 a.m. Thursday necessitated the order, Jeffers said.

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Orbiter wrote on March 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

It sure would be nice if articles like this one gave some instruction. This is a dynamic community, and many residents are likely to be unfamilair with what a "boil order" means.  Certainly I'd never heard the term before moving here.  But this article doesn't even mention that it's about TAP WATER!  It just says "the system".  

 

Please, News-Gazette, be more useful to your community.  You can do better.  Create a boilerplate text to include in these sorts of announcements.  Tell what exactly people should DO during a boil order.  Boil the water for how long?  Is it chemically safe?  Microbiologically safe?  Will water-purification droplets be adequate?  UV treatment?  Will it be okay for pets?  Is it safe to bathe or shower in the water from the tap, without boiling?

 

Thank you.

bluegrass wrote on March 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm

passive agressive comment removed by author

raptureready wrote on March 22, 2013 at 7:03 am

This is the second time this month that Homer has been under a boil order due to low pressure. We've had pressure problems since the sewer system has been up and running yet the representatives of this little town want to jump in bed with a coal mine and sell our water to them. Perhaps the major should make sure that good water can be supplied to the residents of Homer before selling it to outsiders.

Benton wrote on March 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I am sorry raptureready.  There is no link between temperary fluctuations in water pressure and the sale of potable and sewer services to Sunrise Coal. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm

How much does a new water tower cost?  Will it be more than $40,000 a year to build a new water tower, and maintain the sewers?  The mayor sold the village cow for three magic beans.  Eventually; the village will have to deal with the giant, Sunrise Coal. 

According to the CEO of Sunrise Coal's letter to the editor in the Southern Champaign Country News, 300 jobs will result from the mine.  How many people in Homer have mined coal?  There will be an influx of experienced miners, not as many residents though.  Homer will have to open up more bars, and increase it's tiny police force to accomodate the new residents.  It might as well change it's name to Harlan.  After a number of years, it can change it's name to Newman.    

SaintClarence27 wrote on March 27, 2013 at 8:03 am

Will the beans get me a goose that lays golden eggs?

raptureready wrote on March 22, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Seriously????  If the current pump isn't pumping enough water up to create enough water pressure for the current residents then how in this world is it going to pump enough for both us AND a coal mine? In addition to that, when there IS lots of pressure our old antiquated water lines break.

homerresident wrote on March 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Typical misinformation... Their water operater went to a water conference 2 months ago and the EPA highly urged him to drop the level in the water tower during the winter months so that ice would not form on the upper level of the water tower and cause issues. Unfortunately, by keeping it at the lower level, the pump sensor misreads the tower levels. The sensor thinks the tower is full and so the pumps do not kick on to fill the tower back up. Both times Homer had low pressure was because the sensor thought the tower was full when it was actually empty! He turns the pumps on manual and immediately fills it back up, but the EPA requires a cautionary boil order to be on the safe side any time there is a drop in pressure for any reason. He immediately takes water samples around town and takes it to Springfield to be tested by the EPA to be sure it's safe. As soon as the testing happens, the boil order is lifted.  They are hoping to solve the sensor issue shortly.

Orbiter wrote on March 22, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Why is it that the explanation by homerresident is found in reader postings, instead of the main article the News-Gazette publishes?  I guess they only report headlines.  Still, this sounds pretty relevant.  Someone other than a reader should have asked questions!  

homerresident wrote on March 23, 2013 at 11:03 am

Dunno.  My husband is the water plant opperator.  The news-gazette never called him to ask, so who knows.  They probably didn't go into detail because it's not interesting, there is no story there, no drama.  The comments here enjoy the drama of linking it to the coal mine makes for a better story than the facts.  People love drama.

SaintClarence27 wrote on March 27, 2013 at 8:03 am

These would be helpful to know, though. It would prevent people from jumping to conclusions, as many readers are prone to do.

wdlandsaw wrote on March 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm
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Isn't first aid and disaster preparedness mandatory anymore?  When I went to school we were taught such basic life skills in Jr. High, including dealing with radiation sickness and disposing of the bodies.  

Orbiter wrote on March 27, 2013 at 8:03 am

wdlandsaw, surely time spent teaching the disposal of radioactive corpses was wasted out of hysteria. But the more practical skills are definitely relevant. But not every municipality has the same curricula. Nor the same emergency practices. I've lived in three other states and numerous cities, but never heard the term "boil order" until moving to Chambana a few years back. And as the presence of the U of I keeps the population in this area in flux, I'm surely not the only person who didn't know what a "boil order" meant.  The N-G should know this and tailor its reporting to its audience.  It wouldn't hurt to have explained (or at least linked-to an explanation).

I guess they were too busy teaching us to "duck and cover" to avoid radioactive fallout, back in 6th grade, rather than how to ensure the safety of our drinking water.

LocalTownie wrote on March 27, 2013 at 11:03 am

I think it's ridiculous that someone would think it's the media's responsibility to explain what a boil order is everytime one is posted. Do you also expect the NWS to explain what a tornado watch is? In this day and age if you don't know what something means you can google it, I would think if you are savvy enough to comment on an online news story then you can certainly figure out how to google "boil order". I believe it's the individual's responsibility to educate themself.

Orbiter wrote on March 27, 2013 at 11:03 am

And I think it's ridiculous to use local vernacular and technical slang in a news announcement that has serious consequences on health and safety.  "Boil Order" is not a term of cosmopolitan use. Just because a local utility might use the jargon in their announcement is not an excuse for puzzling journalism in a newspaper serving a diverse community having high turnover.  

Of course I'm not saying it should be a law or ordinance. The N-G is free to say as much or as little as they like. I'm merely saying that so-called boil orders are serious enough that an explanation would be appropriate. The alternative is to publish shallow news stories.  Perhaps if the local utility would offer up such explanations it would be easier for todays news media to distribute it.

And yes, I do expect occasional explanation of what a tornado watch is. And what to do.  I was new to tornado country, as are and will be many others, and needed to hear about it.  And those 10-am horn tests need to be occasionally explained, too.  :)

SaintClarence27 wrote on March 27, 2013 at 11:03 am

To be fair, it IS on wikipedia. This isn't jargon - this is SOP.