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Boil water advisory lifted for Wichita, but still in place for some surrounding cities

Laura Nawrocik
flickr Creative Commons

Rose Hill and Valley Center remain under a boil water advisory, according to state health officials.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment rescinded a boil water advisory early Thursday morning for Wichita, Derby, and Andover.

The advisory, though, remains in effect for several cities and areas around Wichita that buy water from the city.

Those include Rose Hill, Valley Center, Kechi and Sedgwick County Rural Water Districts 2 and 3.

Wichita said in a news release Tuesday afternoon that the turbidity, or clarity, of the water was impacted during “routine maintenance.” It then ordered the boil advisory.

KDHE said high turbidity can lead to a loss of chlorine in the system, which may allow contamination.

KDHE said the testing of water samples collected in Wichita showed no signs of contamination. It said other conditions in the water system that could lead to a risk of contamination are resolved.

This week's advisory, which lasted about 32 hours, caused Wichita Public Schools to cancel some of its summer school programming.

It also caused the city to close some of its splash pads and swimming pools. They are expected to reopen Thursday now that the order is rescinded.

Last October, a water main break in Wichita led to a boil water advisory that lasted 36 hours. Wichita schools canceled classes for a day because of the advisory and many restaurants closed or curtailed services.

For residents still under a boil water advisory, health officials recommend taking the following measures:

- Boil water for one minute prior to use

- Dispose of ice cubes and don't use ice from household automatic ice makers

- Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersing them in clean tap water and one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water for a minute

- Water used for bathing does not need to be boiled. But children should be supervised while bathing so water is not ingested

Kylie Cameron (she/her) is a general assignment reporter for KMUW. Before KMUW, Kylie was a digital producer at KWCH, and served as editor in chief of The Sunflower at Wichita State. You can follow her on Twitter @bykyliecameron.
Tom joined KMUW in 2017 after spending 37 years with The Wichita Eagle where he held a variety of reporting and editing roles. He also is host of The Range, KMUW’s weekly show about where we live and the people who live here. Tom is an adjunct instructor in the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University.