Creston Hy-Vee handed out water Monday afternoon and this morning to community members in response to a water warning issued by Southern Iowa Rural Water Association (SIRWA) and Creston Water Works.
Families were allowed two 24-pack cases of 16-ounce bottles or two 1-gallon jugs or one of each per household, ensuring there was enough to go around.
More than 20,000 gallons of water were delivered to the Hy-Vee stores in Creston, Bedford and Mount Ayr. At the Creston store, Store Director Chris Gordy and Assistant Store Director Brian Davis, with the aid of volunteers, passed out the water to community members who began lining up just before 4 p.m.
According to a post on Hy-Vee’s Facebook page, the store passed out 16 pallets of water Monday afternoon and still had 12 pallets available to hand out this morning.
“I think it’s great,” said Davis. “It goes to show what Hy-Vee is about. It’s about the communities they serve. Hy-Vee has always been about community.”
While they were waiting in line to receive their share of the water, some members of the community expressed their displeasure with the handling of the order from SIRWA and Creston Water Works.
“I just thought it wouldn’t be that long to get it fixed,” said Gabriele Borrall of Afton. “I thought it would be an overnight thing. They get the filter in, then flush the lines and the the second or third day we’d have water again. I hear rumors that it may be longer than three days. Some even say weeks, so I don’t know.”
“We didn’t find out until Thursday evening on Facebook,” said Suanne Peterson of Creston. “It would have been nice if we would have been informed ahead of time. They needed to inform people better.”
People were also concerned that community members who don’t have access to the internet or television or a cell phone may not have received the notice and inadvertently drank the possibly contaminated tap water.
Community members also said they didn’t feel like they should have to pay for water they can’t use or, at the very least, SIRWA and Creston Water Works should take a percentage off customers’ bills.
“Or reimburse us for the water we have to buy,” said Peterson. “Not very many people are happy because we are paying our water bill plus having to buy water.”