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Warm Springs water system woes continue; new boil-water notice in place

Tap water

Another main line break as U.S. senators seek funding for system upgrade

WARM SPRINGS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A boil-water notice was issued Thursday for users of the Warm Springs Agency Water System after it lost pressure due to a second  break in the main line near the crossing of the Shitike River.

The resulting loss of pressure raises the potential that untreated water and harmful microbes can enter the system, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs said in a Facebook posting.

Those microbes can cause health issues, from diarrhea and cramps to nausea and headaches, with infants, some elderly and those with compromised immune systems and most serious risk.

Residents were advised to bring tap water to a rolling boil for a minute and cool before using, or use bottled water, for uses such as drinking, washing dishes and brushing teeth.

The Branch of Public Utilities water crew will be making repairs that officials said could take until Friday, July 3 to complete. Recharging the system will take another 24 hours after repairs are done, so the boil-water notice is in place until further notice.

It’s the most recent in a series of serious water issues on the reservation tied to problems with the water system’s infrastructure.

The latest line break came a day after the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on the Western Tribal Water Infrastructure Act of 2019, legislation introduced by Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.

“This legislation would throw a lifeline to tribes like Warm Springs that are in dire need of water infrastructure improvements to serve their tribal membership,” said Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Chairman Raymond Tsumpti.

Article Topic Follows: Central Oregon

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Barney Lerten

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