November 14, 2023
Contact: Kelsey Carter, Drinking Water Analyst, email@example.com
BOISE – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today lifted boil water advisories at two subdivisions in Island Park, Idaho.
The advisories, which have been in place since May 5, 2023, were lifted for Shotgun North subdivision and Shotgun South Stevens Lane subdivision.
“DEQ would like to thank the impacted residents for their patience while this unprecedented issue is being addressed,” said Director Jess Byrne. “We will continue to work closely with the community and our court-appointed receiver to protect public health and deliver safe drinking water.”
Big Springs Water Company, the entity currently responsible for managing the public water systems, collected water quality samples in October and November 2023 and the last ten sample results have come back absent of total coliform. Big Springs Water Company has also completed the following system repairs at Shotgun North and Shotgun South Stevens Lane:
- Installing adequate backflow prevention
- Repairing leaking main lines
- Protecting the pump houses from unauthorized entry
- Maintaining a minimum system pressure of 40 pounds per square inch during maximum hourly demand conditions
- Installing adequate heating in the pump houses
- Implementing an extensive flushing program
- Collecting compliance samples representing the entire distribution system within each subdivision
The two subdivisions were formerly managed by Island Park Water Company (not the city of Island Park), which operated a total of seven public drinking water systems in the area. Each of the systems have been under boil advisories or orders due to the presence of E. coli bacteria.
On July 7, 2023, DEQ filed a civil complaint against Island Park Water Company for a series of deficiencies, including failing to correct significant health hazards, provide accurate and timely public notification, address low or lack of pressure, take required drinking water samples, and identify a responsible charge operator. On July 25, 2023, Island Park Water Company agreed to a court-appointed custodian —also known as a receivership—and on September 18, 2023, Big Spring Water Company was appointed as the receiver.
Big Springs Water Company now manages the day-to-day operation of the seven systems and is responsible for conducting routine compliance sampling, issuing public notifications, resolving complaints, and completing other operational and administrative duties. The company will also work to transfer ownership of the seven public water systems to an entity for long-term operations.