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City of Lewiston continues investigating reservoir failure that caused property damage

The Boil Water Alert Order launched on Wednesday will remain in effect through the weekend in some areas of the city.

LEWISTON, Idaho — The City of Lewiston continues investigating what caused the reservoir failure that led to property damage in some areas of town on Wednesday. 

The city launched a Boil Water Alert Order on Wednesday for some areas of Lewiston that is expected to remain in effect through the weekend.

After bringing specialized engineering experts to assess the incident, the city determined the reservoir failure "was an isolated event that was not related to any improvements that have been underway to the overall water system in the City of Lewiston."

“Nothing was identified in previous planning documents or inspection reports that indicated a cause for concern at this facility,” Dustin Johnson, City of Lewiston Public Works Director said in a statement.

Johnson said it is important to identify the root cause of the incident in order to move forward. He said staff has been working diligently to do so.

The failure of the City of Lewiston’s high reservoir happened at approximately 4 a.m. on Wednesday. The reservoir is located along 16th Avenue in Lewiston. The failure caused the release of approximately three million gallons of water which lead to the flooding.

The purpose of the boil water order is precautionary, in order to protect the users of the water system. As of Friday, the city is reporting all water samples have come back clean, and the city crew is working to draw water from other sources within the system for its customers. 

The Department of Environmental Quality allowed the city of Lewiston to lift the order for customers that are no longer served by the damaged reservoir. However, the order is in effect in some areas of the city. 

This map shows the areas where the Boil Water Order has been lifted and where it still remains in place.  Click here to see the map.

Credit: City of Lewiston

The map highlights three separate sections of the city of Lewiston. The section in red shows the area that should continue following the boil water alert order. The section in green shows the area where the order has been lifted, and the section in blue shows the Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District area, which is not affected.

City staff is working with property owners whose properties were damaged by the water after the reservoir failure.

“Our primary focus right now is to get the boil water order lifted,” Johnson said. “We are working with our engineers and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to achieve this in a safe manner for all of our customers, as life and safety remains our top priority.”

A water filling station was established at the Lewiston Community Center for customers that may be in need of clean drinking water. Residents will need to bring their own water containers to the water filling station.

The station will be open Friday until 8 p.m., and on Sunday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The city is asking residents to call 208-984-7096 if their properties were damaged due to the reservoir failure.

The city will be releasing more information as it becomes available.


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