State rescinds boil water order for Conway Springs

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CONWAY SPRINGS, Kan. (KAKE) -

"There's things that you can do...you know, you can add bleach to the water for sanitation and things like that," said Jenny Osner, owner of the Hired Mans Grocery Store in Conway Springs.

The Kansas town spent most of the week under a boil advisory, unable to drink or wash with the local water.  

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued the boil advisory Tuesday, after problems with a switch over to a new water system in Conway Springs. It lifted the advisory Friday afternoon, after tests came back clean.  

In the days between, residents of Conway Springs had to find whole new ways of doing things.

"We've done as much as we can," Osner said about helping her community deal with the water problems.

Friday was another busy at the store as folks come in looking for food and water over the lunch hour.

"I haven't been able to do anything," laughed Timothy Hinkle. "It's been crazy."

Mountains of bottled water filled the aisles at the store, one result of the advisory,

"We were lucky enough to have water longer than some of the other people in the community," Osner said, talking about the rush at the store to prepare for the outage.  "But, yes, we had to hurry up and get some things done and ready."

The city was in the process of shutting down the old water system and powering up a new one when they lost pressure in the pipes, leaving the city's tap water vulnerable to bacterial infestation.  The state said, "Boil that water!"

"I can't do my dishes," Hinkle complained.

Things got a bit busier at local businesses like the Hired Mans.

"Bought a lot of bottled water," Osner said about what customers wanted.  "And, we're lucky that our distributor comes out.  Today was our load day and we are out of ice.  But Arctic Ice will be down."

They say it could have been worse.  The water could have been completely turned off the entire week, leaving them with no plumbing as well as no drinking water.  Luckily that didn't happen.

Osner says, the short term pain of this week will be worth it in the long run.

"A little extra precautions for things for us to do here is worth it.  But it is a hardship for everyone," she said.  "We try to be as positive as we can."

"Hopefully we won't have much problems with it now that we're getting new filtration systems and all that," Hinkle added.  "Hopefully we won't have these problems."