Residents Urged To Boil Water


Wednesday, July 4th 2007, 7:11 pm
By: News On 6


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The Department of Environmental Quality issued a precautionary boil order on Wednesday for some northern Oklahoma residents whose water supply might be affected by a massive oil spill from a Kansas refinery.

Officials decided to go with the boil order because the town of Coffeyville, Kansas, lost water pressure on Tuesday, said Skylar McElhaney, a DEQ spokeswoman.

``Anytime water pressure is lost, there is the potential for bacteria to enter the water,'' McElhaney said.

The order affects residents in the Nowata County Rural Water District No. 7, running from Oklahoma's border with Kansas south to Lenapah and from two miles into Craig County west to about three miles east of Wann, McElhaney said.

``As a precaution, people should boil their water for 10 to 12 minutes until adequate samples have been taken and those samples are found to be safe,'' McElhaney said.

According to authorities, 42,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Verdigris River during a flash flood that hit a refinery in Coffeyville late Sunday.

It had crept on Tuesday to within five or six miles of the mouth of Lake Oologah, a water source for the city of Tulsa, but McElhaney said the oil had mostly dissipated and there was no indication any got into the lake.

Aerial assessments showed no signs of the slick, and experts believe the oil was filtered by trees and vegetation upstream from the lake, McElhaney said.

For more flooding information, check out our STORM ZONE web page.