A state agency is asking that customers of Jefferson County Rural Water District No. 10 not drink or cook with water supplied by their water district.
The water district serves about 125 residences in the Lakeshore Estates area on the east side of Perry Lake.
Greg Crawford, director of public information for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said Tuesday that KDHE inspections determined the water quality is unacceptable for drinking and cooking purposes, but is safe for bathing.
Crawford said water supplied by the district has high amounts of soil in it and does not show chlorine amounts high enough to meet department standards.
AN ADVISORY issued by KDHE outlines steps required before the water can be consumed. However, Crawford said that these steps are merely precautionary and that the problem has not become as grave as it could.
Before drinking or cooking, RWD No. 10 customers should allow water to set in a clean container so that the sediment may settle to the bottom. Customers also should pour the clean water into a separate container and bring it to a rolling boil for five minutes or more before consumption.
The department attributed the district's problems to a silt buildup around the district water intake point on Perry Lake and to the water treatment plant operation. Crawford said the plant is not staffed long enough each day for proper treatment of the water.
CRAWFORD said KDHE has ordered the district to address the problems of the silt buildup and the plant's operation but has not set a deadline for corrections to be made. He also said it was premature to say whether the district would be found in violation of department policies and fined.
"The key right now is to get the water quality up to a standard that customers can drink and cook," Crawford said.
KDHE hand-delivered notices to each water district customer Tuesday, after tests showed the water to be below state standards, he said.