News Flash


Posted on: February 23, 2021

Important Information About Your Drinking Water

City of Russell, KS Water System Did Not Meet Monitoring and Treatment Requirements


Our water system recently incurred drinking water violations. Although this was not an emergency, as our customers you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation. 


This notice provides you with a description of the four different types of violations that we incurred and the months in which they were incurred. 


  1. We are required to monitor the disinfectant residual level in the distribution at least once each day. If we fail to collect at least 90% of the daily samples required each month, a failure to monitor violation is incurred. Here is a list of the 4 months during 2020 wherein we incurred this type of violation: January, February, April, and May.


2.  For all of the distribution disinfectant residual level readings collected in a month, at least 95% of them must have results that are greater than or equal to 1 mg/L. If the 95% is not met for 2 consecutive months, a violation is incurred. Here is a list of the six times in 2020 wherein we incurred this type of violation.

1.  December 2019 and January 2020

2.  January 2020 and February 2020

3.  June 2020 and July 2020

4.  July 2020 and August 2020

5.  August 2020 and September 2020

6.  September 2020 and October 2020


  1. We are required to monitor turbidity levels continuously on our individual filters. If our monitoring equipment fails, we are required to collect manual grab samples for turbidity analysis at least once every four hours while in operation. Near the end of January 2020 and for the first few days of February 2020 our continuous monitoring equipment failed and we did not collect the required grab samples. Therefore, we incurred this violation twice; once in January 2020 and once in February 2020.


  1. For all of the turbidity samples collected from our combined filter effluent (CFE) in a month, at least 95% of them must have results that are less than 0.35 NTU. For any month where the 95% is not met, a violation is incurred. In February 2020 we incurred this violation because only 94% of our CFE turbidity samples were less than 0.35 NTU. 


What should I do?


  • There is nothing you need to do.  You do not need to boil your water or take other actions.  
  • If you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your health care providers about drinking this water.  General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.


What does this mean?


This is not an immediate risk. If it had been, you would have been notified immediately. The following italicized language is possible health effects language that EPA requires be included in public notices for these types of violations.



Regarding distribution disinfectant monitoring and levels below 1 mg/L: Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps diarrhea, and associated headaches.


Regarding turbidity monitoring and levels: Turbidity has no health effects.  However, some turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth.  Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms.  These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches. These symptoms are not caused only by organisms in drinking water.  If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice.



What happened? What is being done?


Water production personnel were gathering distribution samples at an incorrect location that was not approved by KDHE. These samples were removed from the State report, leaving blanks that triggered the violations. The water personnel have been trained of all correct locations to utilize during sampling, so no further issues are expected. The remaining distribution samples collected were part of the flushing program and often reflect low chlorine residuals that are collected from an area before flushing began. Many water samples are taken from a single flushing site, but a line flush is not considered complete until the chlorine residual is raised above 1.0 mg/L. These low residual samples are required to be reported to KDHE and are used to calculate the total percentage of samples both above and below the regulatory limit of 1.0 mg/L total chlorine. During the end of January 2020, delicate equipment designed to monitor all four water filters’ individual efficiency failed. When monitoring equipment fails, water production personnel are to collect grab samples.  This was not done until consulting with KDHE about the failed equipment issue. The failed equipment has been replaced with all new units. Downstream of the individual filter monitoring equipment is another device that monitors the combined efficiency of all four filters. In April 2020, after a series of cleaning cycles performed on the filters, this monitoring device logged all of the water that was equal to and greater than .35 NTU. When compared to the remaining samples of water that were less than .35 NTU, the percentage was determined to be below the optimal threshold. To help with this issue, water production personnel are cleaning the filters more often to remove buildup quickly, preventing it from being processed at the end of the cleaning cycle.


We anticipate resolving the problem within [estimated time frame]:  KDHE reviewed our December 2020 report, found that all monitoring and levels were in good order and we are now back to a status of “in compliance” for all of the violations listed in this public notice. No further action is required.                                                       .


For more information, please contact Name:  JON QUINDAY    at Phone: 785-483-6311                                                        

Or by Mail: 133 W 8TH ST, PO BOX 112, RUSSELL, KS  67665-0112



Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.


This notice is being sent to you by City of Russell, KS.

Federal ID #:  KS2016703

Date distributed: February 23, 2021 – March 9, 2021 on city website.  March 4, 2021 mailing to all customers and delivery with request to post on bulletin board to Russell Regional Hospital, Nursing Homes, Public Library, and Russell Housing Authority

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Home