Alert: Ironwood issued drinking water advisory; precautions recommended

Published: Feb. 21, 2018 at 5:59 PM EST
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The City of Ironwood is experiencing diminished water quality due to fire-fighting operations on East Aurora Street on Feb. 21, 2018. High velocity water flows from fire hydrants necessary to extinguish the fire resulted in brown or cloudy water conditions from sediments from cast iron water pipes. Residents and businesses in the Ironwood area, including food establishments, are affected. Whenever tap water is less than clear in appearance, precautionary measures are recommended.

If the water is not clear, DO NOT DRINK THE WATER, continue to flush until clear. If you have continued concerns about your drinking water, Western U.P. Health Department would recommend drinking bottled water until the advisory is lifted. If you are flushing your pipes, the City of Ironwood recommends taking a reading from your water meter before and after flushing to get a credit on your water bill from the water department.

At this time, food establishment operators must follow the instructions in the “Emergency Action Plans for Retail Food Establishments” guide in order to remain open. Bottled water shall be used for drinking, making ice, coffee, pop or other beverages, and preparing food in a food service establishment until further notice. A link to this document is posted on the Western U.P. Health Department (WUPHD) web site at Instructions are available in English, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese. A copy can also be faxed or email to you upon request. Health Department food safety inspectors are monitoring efforts of the affected food establishments to ensure the safety of food sold in the area.

To restore public confidence and to ensure safe drinking water, City of Ironwood water department staff will take remedial actions such as flushing and collecting water samples from the system to determine when the water meets state drinking water standards. It’s estimated that the problem will not be resolved for several days.

This precautionary water advisory remains in effect until results from the sampling verify the water is safe to drink. If you have questions or concerns regarding water quality, contact the City or Ironwood at 906-932-5050 or Tanya Rule, WUPHD Environmental Health Director, at 906-482-7382.