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Businesses react quick in wake of boil order

A Fareway truck backs into the loading dock at the Creston Fareway location Friday morning, delivering an extra load of bottled water to the store, following the boil order issued by Southern Iowa Rural Water Association that went into effect 8 a.m. Friday.
A Fareway truck backs into the loading dock at the Creston Fareway location Friday morning, delivering an extra load of bottled water to the store, following the boil order issued by Southern Iowa Rural Water Association that went into effect 8 a.m. Friday.

Businesses had to make adjustments because of a boil order issued Thursday from the Southern Iowa Rural Water Association.

Residents of the affected areas were advised to boil all tap water to decrease the chance of the water containing disease-causing organisms due to filtration issues at the Creston Water Treatment Plant.

Parts of eight counties – Adair, Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Madison, Ringgold, Taylor and Union counties – are included in the boil order, which began 8 a.m. Friday.

SIRWA Manager Dan McIntosh met with the DNR and the membrane filter company this morning.

Following the meeting, McIntosh said the following is the “best case scenario” time frame for receiving the new membranes from Suez.

One trane (1/4 of the treatment plant capacity) is in Canada. It was purchased by a treatment plant in Racine, Wisconsin, who let Creston Water Works have it. It takes two days to get EPA approval to bring the membranes into the United States. Approval should be received Tuesday night.

The truck will leave Canada Tuesday night or Wednesday morning and arrive at the 12-Mile Treatment Plant Thursday night or Friday morning. The membranes should be producing water by Saturday morning.

A second set of membranes is scheduled to arrive in Creston approximately 24 hours behind the first set of membranes. Both sets are needed before the plant can produce the needed water for the city of Creston and SIRWA.

“We are in hopes to start the flushing process late Saturday or Sunday,” McIntosh said in an email. “We need to get the three Creston towers drained and filled with the new water. Creston will then flush their system while good water is traveling down SIRWA’s distribution mains.

“As cities get removed from the drinking water advisory, we would ask that customers be considerate and only use necessary water so that all extra water can be used to flush and get water to the remaining cities on the drinking water advisory,” McIntosh said.

Businesses adjusted quickly to the high demand of bottled water and other issues that came their way.

Food services like Casey’s General Store had similar actions. Out of the six stores that are in Creston, only two provide the services of making pizza and subs, but they all took the same precautionary measures.

Because of the order, they are unable to do dishes and provide other services like pizzas because of the low amount of prepared dough.

“I didn’t find out until about 10 p.m. Thursday night,” Casey’s Store Manager Amy Angell said. “I just wish we would’ve had a better heads up so that we were better prepared for it.”

Stores like Hy-Vee and Fareway were quick to respond to the order by working with their warehouses on getting two shipments in one day to their store the day after the advisory was issued.

Aside from the high water demand, Hy-Vee also made adjustments in its food service department.

The food service department has taken precautionary measures of using bagged ice and canned pop for its customers.

“We’re trying to take care of our store but also our community,” said Chris Gordy, Hy-Vee store manager. “At a time like this it’s not about trying to get sales, it’s about everyone in the community doing what they can.”

Gordy announced this morning that Creston Hy-Vee will be receiving two truckloads of water, and the store will be donating that water to Creston residents in the store parking lot. More information will be available on the CNA Facebook page when it becomes available.

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