Magna Water District issues boil order after raccoon remains found in tank

The Magna Water District has announced a boil order affecting all users of district water. Photo: Facebook
  • Update: The boil order has been lifted.

MAGNA, Utah, April 9, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Magna Water District has issued a boil order for users of district water after finding a raccoon in a water tank.

“Magna Water District is issuing a water boil order for the entire district service area which includes all of Magna Metro Township and portions of West Valley City located between 7200 West and 5600 West and 2820 South and 2100 South and portions of Salt Lake City located between 7600 West and 7200 West and 2100 South and 1300 South,” a Facebook notice says.

The district issued the following instructions:

• DO NOT DRINK THE WATER. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for five minutes, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

• E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems.

• The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.

The district’s notice said inspectors examining a storage reservoir discovered the raccoon in the tank.

“Operators immediately removed the raccoon and isolated the reservoir from the distribution system and began sampling for bacteriologic contaminants and chlorine residual and then started flushing and disinfection of the distribution system and reservoirs and will continue sampling until confirming system is safe.

“Magna Water District has determined that a screen had been removed on the tank overflow drain pipe by a contractor completing construction improvements. The contractor was notified of the deficiency and immediately reinstalled the screen to prevent future incidents.”

The contractor said the screen had been removed within the past week and a half. The condition of the raccoon remains indicated it had not been in the tank long before it was discovered and removed, the statement says.

“Chlorine residuals were found to be above minimum requirements in the tank and distribution system immediately following the discovery of the potential contamination which is good news, however, Magna Water District is taking this incident seriously and issuing a boil order to limit potential health impact to our customers which is our top priority.

“We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water. The problem has been resolved however we anticipate two days of sampling to confirm no health impacts are anticipated.”

The district asked that residents share information with others who use the water, but who may not see the notice.

General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791, the notice says.


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