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Wichita boil water advisory rescinded after 32 hours


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It’s now safe to drink and use Wichita tap water normally, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed early Thursday morning. But boil advisories in several surrounding communities remain in effect.

The all-clear for Wichita and Andover came at 12:41 a.m., after laboratory testing confirmed water quality has been restored. Wichita’s boil advisory, the second in eight months, lasted 32 hours.

Advisories remain in effect for Rose Hill, Valley Center, Derby, Kechi and Sedgwick County rural water districts 2 and 3, all of which purchase water from Wichita.

A filter malfunctioned at the city’s 80-year-old water plant, causing cloudy water with “a higher than expected dose of solids” to be discharged into the distribution system. KDHE tested 180 water samples from different locations throughout the system for bacteria before lifting the advisory.

Wichita is the largest regional water provider in Kansas, serving more than 500,000 people.

The Eagle reported in 2019 that an engineering study found 100% of the city’s raw water pipes were in “very poor” condition as of 2017, and the city’s entire water infrastructure was at a “significant risk” of failure.

“Because we have a very old treatment plant, we’ve got to expect problems,” Public Works and Utilities Director Alan King said at a press conference Tuesday.

Construction is underway on Wichita’s new water treatment plant, which King said will likely be completed by the end of 2024 or early 2025.

This story was originally published June 9, 2022 12:53 AM.

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Matthew Kelly joined The Eagle in April 2021. He’s covering business and development in the Wichita area. You can contact him at 316-268-6203 and mkelly@wichitaeagle.com.





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