State College

When will the Rock Springs boil water advisory be lifted? DEP gives an update

A boil water advisory has been in effect for Rock Springs Water Company customers for nearly three weeks.
A boil water advisory has been in effect for Rock Springs Water Company customers for nearly three weeks. Centre Daily Times, file

It’s been nearly two weeks since a boil water advisory was issued for Rock Springs Water Company customers in western Ferguson Township.

Excessive rainfall and localized flooding on Aug. 3 caused the infrastructure of Rock Springs’ well to become submerged. The private water company then contacted the state Department of Environmental Protection, which issued the boil water advisory on Aug. 5.

The advisory is still in effect until further notice, the DEP said.

The DEP advises customers to continue boiling their drinking water for at least one minute until the flooding near the well recedes and Rock Springs conducts two consecutive days worth of raw water samples that test negative for E. coli and total coliform bacteria.

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But during the wettest summer on record in the State College area, regular rainfall has not helped with the flooding. And it doesn’t look like it will let up soon. AccuWeather and the National Weather Service are calling for on and off thunderstorms from Thursday evening through Saturday.

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The DEP said in an email to the Centre Daily Times that staff members were most recently at Rock Springs on Wednesday, and have been on site at least twice a week since the advisory was issued due to unspecified ongoing issues with the water system.

No estimated time frame was given for when the advisory might be lifted. The DEP said they have talked to Rock Springs about several possible solutions that might help alleviate the problem, but all would require longer-term investment. There is no immediate fix.

Rock Springs, a publicly traded company with about 600 connections, did not respond to a requests for comment.

Customers with questions about the boil water advisory can call Rock Springs at 231-2911, or the DEP’s North-central Regional Office at 570-327-3636, and ask for the Safe Drinking Water Program.

The National Weather Service said about four inches of rain fell overnight as multiple local creeks spilled into roadways. Crews worked to close streets as traffic slowed to cross the water-covered throughways.