GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s a story we’ve been actively following. The Towns Riverview subdivisions outside of Garden City have been dealing with unsafe drinking water for months, but now nearly 1,000 residents are seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
April 20, marks the last time Towns Riverview South had safe drinking water in their lines. But now, residents can turn on the tap and not worry about contaminants in their water.
The KDHE has officially cleared both subdivisions as the final ‘Do Not Drink Order’ was lifted from Towns Riverview South on Friday, August 7.
This following a prior boil water advisory that was lifted for the north subdivision on June 30.
Residents say the wait for safe drinking water hasn’t been easy.
“We’ve dealt with not having water before, but we’ve never dealt with not having water during a pandemic or a crisis or something where we really need to be washing our hands and taking extra precautions to keep our families safe,” said Donalda Martinez, Resident of Towns Riverview
Martinez says she is thankful the issues have been resolved but is not confident the fix will be long-term.
The water system manager, Delmer Towns II, says what began with contaminated water several years ago, led to a new source of water from Garden City, then a battle with booster pumps, faulty valves, and an aged water system.
He now he says they have been working non-stop to ensure the issues do not reoccur.
“Good to go. We don’t have any, any issues with anything. Our chlorine residuals are good. All the tests are good. So, we don’t have anything to worry about right now,” said Delmer Towns II, Manager of Towns Riverview Water System.
The fix came primarily from separating the two water lines supplying each subdivision.
The north neighborhood will continue to be fed by city water, and the south, by a recently-flushed well.
This along with replaced valves, water line fixes, and new service lines have increased water pressure up to 70 PSI, allowing for contamination levels to drop.
After multiple water tests, the KDHE now says the water is safe to drink.
“Just knowing that our customers have good quality drinking water, just peace of mind knowing that nobody’s gonna get hurt drinking our water,” said Towns.
Neighbors are relieved to get back to normal.
“I can actually water my lawn, wash my laundry at the same time, and wash dishes,” said Martinez.
The water will be tested every month to ensure it maintains safe drinking water levels.
To see our extensive coverage of the story, click here.