Water from the Ashland system is once again safe to consume without first being boiled.
The system-wide boil-water advisory affecting more than 50,000 customers was lifted at 1:45 p.m. Monday.
According to City Manager Ben Bitter, the system’s pressure levels became high enough for samples to be taken for testing on Sunday. After the required 18-hour incubation period, those test results showed the water was safe, he said.
The advisory had been in place since Jan. 29, and was issued after the freeze-and-thaw winter weather cycle caused widespread line breaks, which drained storage tanks and created low pressure levels.
“This has been a good day,” Bitter said Monday. “We’ve been waiting for this for a few days now.”
In addition to causing inconvenience for residents, the advisory played havoc with beverage service at local restaurants, forcing them to serve bottled or canned drinks because soda fountains couldn’t be used with the notice in place. At least one establishment, Starbuck’s, was forced to close.
Bitter said water tank levels were stable throughout the system and that repairs to broken water lines, including the ones on Winchester Avenue at 39th and 43rd streets, were completed over the weekend. However, traffic restrictions remained in place on Winchester on Monday while the holes in the street crews had to excavate to reach the broken lines were being fixed.
All emergency bottled-water distribution sites in Boyd County had been shut down Monday. Bitter said last week the city had distributed about 700,000 bottles of water, at a cost of roughly $100,000, during the water crisis.
Bitter also noted that a video featuring city employees thanking residents for their patience during the crisis had been posted on
the city’s website, ky.gov.
KENNETH HART can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
or (606) 326-2654.