Idaho City Residents Told To Boil Water After Recurring Filter Problem

Feb 10, 2015

Idaho City residents have been advised to boil their water for 1-3 minutes before drinking it.
Credit Dennis Amith / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho City residents have been told they need to boil their water before drinking it. The order went into effect Sunday after high levels of sediment was found coming out of the town's water treatment plant. 

Idaho City's drinking water comes from Elk Creek, which has been running with more soil and debris than normal from the recent rains. Mayor Jim Obland says the boil advisory is an inconvenience but a necessary precaution.

"We've had over 3.6 inches of rain in the last eight days," says Obland. "Our filter system that we have cannot remove all of the contaminants in the water."

Obland says this kind of thing is not new. He says Elk Creek often has high levels of dirt in it after snowmelt or rain, and Idaho City residents are accustomed to having to boil their water to make sure bacteria are dead. However, the mayor says a drier weather forecast should give the water system a break and the boil order could be lifted later this week. 

Idaho City is working on a long-term solution to the Elk Creek issue. Obland says residents passed a bond recently to pay for an upgrade to the system. He says the town hopes to get new wells drilled this summer to store clean water for the next time the filters are unable to catch all the contaminants. 

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2015 Boise State Public Radio