Sutherland residents should boil their water until further notice to remove any potential contamination, after lightning shut the water pumps down around 7:30 a.m. Saturday.The lightning tripped an electrical breaker, shutting off the village pumps was well as the automatic alarm that notifies authorities when the pumps go off, village maintenance superintendent Jason Lashley said.
Lashley said the water tower continued to supply homes and businesses for many hours and no one realized the problem Saturday. But at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, a resident contacted Lashley to report there was not enough water to flush the toilet.
Lashley immediately investigated and found the breaker was tripped.
Notices of a boil water advisory were posted and the news media was informed.
Under the advisory, it is necessary to vigorously boil tap water for one minute before using the water for drinking or cooking, Lashley said.
Whenever a water system is shut off and then restarted, harmful bacteria can possibly be dislodged from the system’s pipes and endlines, and the bacteria could mix into tap water. The boil advisory is an established precaution required by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
On Sunday morning, Lashley also turned on all the village’s fire hydrants to flush the lines, another precaution, with help from the Sutherland Volunteer Fire Department. He also prepared to chlorinate the water.
Water samples will be taken Monday to be tested at a state certified laboratory, to make sure no harmful bacteria is present.
Lashley said it could be Thursday or later before the boil water advisory for Sutherland is lifted.