Colcord under boil order after water shortage

Thursday, August 23rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

COLCORD, Okla. (AP) _ Residents are lining up at an emergency center for water as city workers try to repair leaky pipes that have cut off the town's water supply.

After three days without water, residents were warned Wednesday not to use water still left in their pipes without boiling it first.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality said the water could be contaminated and issued a boil order for customers of the Colcord Public Works Authority.

Residents have been without water since Monday when children were sent home and have not returned to school.

Donnie Kirby, the town's water superintendent, cut a hole in the side of the water tower Tuesday in an effort to reroute the main outlet, which collapsed, into the main water line that provides water to the town's 292 customers.

``We hope to have it fixed by Friday, then we will have to wait until DEQ inspects the water to make sure there is no bacteria,'' Kirby said.

As temperatures soared near 100 degrees on Wednesday, residents lined up at the fire station where the Ottawa and Delaware county chapters of the American Red Cross had set up an emergency center.

Volunteers went through the community Wednesday to check on seniors.

People were allowed to take three gallons of drinking water per person. A tanker from the Zena Fire Department was filled to allow people to fill containers for their livestock.

``It's just an inconvenience for everyone,'' said Shannon Nichols as she prepared to fill a 55-gallon container to water her eight horses. ``People have had to haul water before, we'll do it again.''

Colcord officials were notified before Tuesday that the pipes from the 38-year-old, 60,000-gallon water tower had rusted, shutting down the town's water source.