Kentucky Water Treatment Plant Fire--Boil water order issued : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Kentucky Restaurants Burned by Water Treatment Plant Fire

Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Publication date: Feb 10, 2000

(By Anne Thrower, The Paducah Sun, Ky. )

Feb. 10--There were no mashed potatoes on the lunch menu at B&G's One Stop. And iced tea drinkers had to settle for a soft drink in a bottle or can.

Such were some of the inconveniences that Robert Burge's lunch crowd faced Wednesday after a boil-water order was issued for all customers of the South Graves Water District.

The order affects about 2,200 residents in 720 homes, said Ronnie Lawson, director of Emergency Management for Mayfield and Graves County. A fire at the water district's main "well house" Tuesday afternoon made it impossible to treat the water, Lawson said. The problem could be repaired today (Thursday) or Friday.

"Everyone is getting water," Lawson said. "It's just not safe to drink without boiling." Eunice Harrison, the office manager of the district, said the water was not contaminated. But it still would be better if the customers boiled the water five minutes before using it, she said.

The order was issued Wednesday morning, and word spread quickly through the communities of Baltimore, Pryorsburg, Pilot Oak, Water Valley and the outlying areas around Wingo that are served by the water district. The order does not apply to the town of Wingo, which has its own water system.

About 2 p.m. Tuesday, the well house on Bugg Lane off Ky. 339 caught fire, heavily damaging the 15-foot-by-15-foot building, said Mason Clapp, assistant chief of the Wingo Fire Department. The fire is believed to be electrical, he said.

Workers were busy Wednesday trying to get the chlorination system going again. Electricians were hooking up electricity to a portable storage building. "We are hoping to have chlorine back in there (today)," Harrison said.

"Everybody has been really patient about it."

She called businesses such as Burge's restaurant/convenience store to let them know of the boil order.

Breakfast was over by the time Burge was told of the boil order. By lunch, customers were eating on paper plates with plastic forks and knives. And fountain drinks were replaced by bottled soft drinks from the convenience store.

Burge was taking the hassle in stride. "Things are going to happen," he said.

At Pat's Cafe in Water Valley, Patricia Gills was not nearly as inconvenienced because she does not make her own ice and soft drinks are always served in cans and bottles.

"It was just a matter of keeping pans of water on the stove all the time," she said. "It hasn't been a big problem."

Greg King, who lives between Water Valley and Wingo, learned of the boil order after arriving home Wednesday. "I don't want to take any chances," he said, adding he drinks a lot of bottled water, anyway. ----- To see more of The Paducah Sun, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

(c) 2000, The Paducah Sun, Ky. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

Publication date: Feb 10, 2000 ) 2000, NewsReal, Inc.

-- Carl Jenkins (, February 17, 2000


Oh my God! 720 homes have to boil water.

Surely this is the beginning of the end of the world!

-- (, February 17, 2000.

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