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Beatty issues precautionary drinking water alert

There was some confusion in Beatty last Sunday when some residents received notices they should boil their tap water before drinking it.

Word soon spread around town that everyone in town should be boiling their water.

The trouble started Saturday afternoon when the Beatty Water and Sanitation District learned of a water main break near the Death Valley Inn at 2:22 p.m.

Residents in higher elevations lost water, while those in the lower parts of town only experienced low water pressure.

Shirley said that by closing about ten valves in various locations, they were able to restore water service to almost everyone by 3:30 p.m., but they worked until 1:30 a.m. fixing the break in the line. The water was off at the Death Valley Inn until the repair was complete.

He said that the boil notice is required by law whenever the water pressure drops below 20 psi. He made copies of the notice and personally delivered them on Sunday morning to residences in the part of town that were most affected. Copies were also posted at the Post Office, the Town Office, and the Mercantile.

Shirley said that the notices were simply a mandated precautionary measure, and that testing of the water had found no contamination.

The principal source of potential contamination is from customers who do not have anti-backflow devices on their lines. This can cause water to flow back into the system from such things as sprinkling systems when the pressure drops too low.

Among the places where water was tested were the two schools in Beatty. Both have anti-backflow equipment installed, and no contamination was detected.

Beatty has suffered several water main breaks in recent years. The pipes and valves in the system are showing their age. Shirley said that was why they had to close so many valves to be able to work on this break. “Our valves are old, and they just don’t hold,” he remarked.

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