• Last modified 350 days ago (June 7, 2023)


Drought fouls Florence water

Staff writer

Florence residents are under a state advisory to boil water for drinking and food preparation, flush dirty-looking water from household pipes, and disinfect dishes. The advisory was issued Tuesday by state health authorities.

The advisory was issued after Mayor Bob Gayle notified Kansas Department of Health and Environment chlorine in the city water supply was lower than state requirements.

Springs that supply city water are fed by sinkholes north of the springs and Martin Creek, Gayle said. Dry weather allowed leaves and debris to land in the creek bed. Heavy rain then fouled the water because of the debris, he said.

The advisory will continue until tests by a certified lab indicate chlorine is back to acceptable levels and no harmful bacteria that the chlorine kills are found.

“I have to take four tests from different quadrants and take them to a laboratory in Wichita,” Gayle said.

The laboratory will report results to KDHE.

The city will flush and disinfect its water system, KDHE communications director Matt Lara said.

“If the sample is positive for bacteria, the boil water advisory will remain in effect and the city staff will repeat the steps to correct the issue,” Lara said.

Until the advisory is rescinded, customers of Florence’s water system should:

  • Use bottled water or boil tap water for one minute before drinking it or using it in food preparation.
  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use household automatic icemakers.
  • Flush water lines if tap water appears dirty.
  • Disinfect dishes and other surfaces that contact food by immersing them for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.

Water for bathing does not need to be boiled, but children should be supervised while bathing to prevent them from ingesting water.

People with cuts or severe rashes should consult their physicians, KDHE advised.

Last modified June 7, 2023