Boil Advisory Remains In Effect For McAlester
McALESTER, Oklahoma - The boil advisory for city of McAlester water users is still in effect Friday night after testing found E.coli in two out of the ten water samples that were tested.
The boil water advisory was a volunteer one in the city of McAlester and while the majority of the restaurants were closed, with a stiff list of rules to adhere to, the Heavenly Bakery was able to stay open.
“Our place was packed so we just used Styrofoam containers and plastic forks. So, we just made it work,” said Heavenly Bakery Owner April Dungan.
Dungan said shutting down would have been a huge financial blow. "We're a home owned business; we don't have a chain of restaurants to help us survive."
Before deciding to stay open, the health department came and required Dungan to boil water to wash dishes. As a result, it prohibited her from serving coffee or tea and required her to provide bottled water for customers to wash their hands.
The shop is a small part of the estimated 20,000 people in and around the city, who are impacted by the water issue.
“We take public safety extremely important here in the city and we want to make sure all of our residents take all the precautionary measures that are outlined by the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality),” said City Manager Pete Stasiak.
It’s not clear how the E.coli got in; it may be from a broken water line or somewhere else. Since putting the boil advisory into place, the water continues to be treated with chlorine and flushed out.
“It has to be a hassle to go through all this, it is, it really is. You have to boil water just to do dishes,” said Debra Morrison, a shopper.
In the meantime, people like Debra Morrison flock to find water where they can.
"I have a grand baby and two older grandchildren so I buy the jugs to make bottles with for my grand babies and the kids drink bottled water,” continued Morrison.
With no time-line of how long folks will have to make due with bottled and boiled water, they hope it’s not much longer.
The city manager says several more water samples have been sent to Tulsa for testing. Those results could be in sometime around 1 a.m.