As of Friday, the 93 residents of White Bird, along U.S. 95 north of Riggins, had been without running water for a week after its system lost pressure.
White Bird City Clerk Sandy Murphy said the issues with clean water have been ongoing since Nov. 24. On Monday, the state declared that even boiling city water wouldn’t make it drinkable, due to the poor quality of water and the loss of pressure.
Murphy said the town, Mountain Waterworks and the Idaho Rural Water Association are working to repair the problem, but haven’t found the cause of the pressure loss.
The city reported that leak detection equipment brought by IRWA has not found any leaks. Officials have turned off the valves going to the city’s service lines and water meters.
A potable water truck coming from Peters & Keatts Equipment will arrive in White Bird on Saturday to fill storage tanks. The town also placed seven portable toilets around neighborhoods, and nondrinkable water is available at City Hall for people to use to flush toilets. The city also has bottled water for residents to drink.
The Department of Environmental Quality’s regional engineering manager, Michael Camin, said the department expects a request on Monday for funding the repairs needed in White Bird.
The North Central Public Health District is working with residents and has not received any reports of illnesses related to water contamination in the city, said Carol Moehrle, district director.