After six weeks of boiling water, residents now face the possibility of long-term contamination seeping into the community’s water source.
Other communities along the Snake River are taking note, too.
After the record-high river breached the town’s water supply in June, repeated attempts to disinfect and flush contaminants from the system have failed.
“We have tried and tried and have been dismayed when the tests continue to show positive signs (of contamination),” City Clerk David Hahn said.
“We can no longer kid ourselves into thinking the boil order might be lifted next week, he added.”
Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality has listed the springs that feed the town’s domestic supply as “Ground Water Under Direct Influence,” and required Glenns Ferry to comply with stiff water-quality standards.
Environmental Quality engineer Monty Marchus said Glenns Ferry is only the first of many groundwater-influenced sites the department expects find along the Snake due to flooding.
Glenns Ferry could see future pollution because the bottom of the underground basin which supplies the city water is below the river’s level, he said.
Hahn said the city has been working for a year to find a new source of potable water because the present one will not provide for growth.
Marchus said the agency could issue some recommendations on temporarily providing clean water as early as next week.
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