BONNERS FERRY, Idaho— There is more in the Bonners Ferry water tank than your average H20. Investigators have found vermin entering the tank in Bonners Ferry recently. It is the second time it has happened in just five years.
City leaders said they believe rodents and at least one snake have managed to creep into the tank. Leaders told KREM 2 News on Wednesday they are working to fix the issue as soon as possible.
Initial tests showed the water was safe to drink according to Bonners Ferry leaders. However, Bonners Ferry sent letters alerting 300 neighbors who receive water from the tank.
READ: Letter sent to Bonners Ferry residents
"We've been all around it and scrutinized every inch of it, and they still manage to get in there," said Mayor David Anderson.
In July, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality inspected the tank and found several mice and a snake inside. Test result for a bacterial infection came back negative.
Yet, in a letter sent to the Bonners Ferry leaders, the DEQ said their tests do not show potential viruses carried by vermin. DEQ leaders maintained that the tank was still being compromised, but Bonners Ferry leaders are not sure how to stop the critters from getting into the tank.
“If we did, we would fix it immediately," insisted Anderson.
Vermin snuck into the tank before in 2009 according to DEQ records. The issue was discussed at opening meetings at the time, but Bonners Ferry leaders did not issue a public notice.
“We felt at the time that our remedial actions were going to take care of it,” added Anderson. “You want to walk a fine line between informing the public and creating hysteria."
Anderson said for now, the Bonners Ferry workers will inspect the tank and its water at least one a week. They also increased the chlorine count.
“We feel that the water is safe at this point and time," said Anderson.
Bonners Ferry leaders are planning to replace the roof of the tank by December.