Boil order lifted for Niles Township

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 11:54 AM EDT
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NILES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WNDU) - Niles Township officials tell 16 News Now that the boil order has been lifted after two tests of the township’s water supply came back negative on Thursday.

Officials say water is now safe to consume, but you’re asked to run your faucets for five minutes before using water for regular use.

If you have a refrigerator water dispenser, you should dispose a gallon of water before using. For ice makers, you should dispose two cycles of ice before using.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Niles Township is under a boil order for water.

That’s according to township officials who reached out to 16 News Now on Tuesday, Sept. 13, and confirmed the township’s water supply tested positive for traces of coliform bacteria.

The Berrien County Health Department knows of no one who has become ill by drinking the water, but the testing does signal the possible presence of potentially harmful bacteria.

On Thursday, Sept. 15, officials said crews will start flushing water hydrants to clean out the system. Officials said the boil order will remain in effect for at least two more days.

Residents should boil their water or use bottled water until further notice.

In the meantime, homes and businesses in the area are feeling the effects of this boil order.

211 homes in the Wedgewood Park neighborhood just, which is just south of the state line in St. Joseph County, get their water from Niles Township.

One painted fire hydrant there carries the slogan “Boiler Up,” which is suddenly less of a shout out to Purdue and more a way of life during the ongoing boil order.

“Well, they say anything that’s going to be consumed needs to be boiled, and then cooled,” said Wedgewood Homeowners Association head Julie Keb. “You can bathe in it, you can do your laundry in it, you can water your grass with it, even wash your hair in it. Any of those things. But if it’s for direct consumption, it needs to be boiled.”

While the boil order was originally issued on Tuesday, it took a while to soak in for some.

Wedgewood resident Jason Conley says he’s not much of a social media guy.

“I found out two days ago, and I don’t think that was in time,” Conley said. “I’ve drank the water for, maybe prior to that, all the way up to it, until my mom called me and told me that I couldn’t drink the water.”

On Friday, Sept. 16, you could drive to, but not through, the drive-thru at the Dairy Queen near the state line. A copy of the boil order was posted on the front door.

Meantime, the restaurant next door was back in business after shutting down one day this week to regroup.

“It’s kind of a big deal, but I mean, we’re managing,” said Halie Rogge, owner of Jeannie’s House Diner Too. “We’re able to serve water bottles and cans of pop because our fountain is down. We can use our coffee because it’s heated to above 180 degrees. So, boiling the kitchen water and just doing what we can to stay open.”

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