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Boil-Water Advisory In Bunnell as Water Plant Has a Problem For 3rd Time in 2 Months

| November 20, 2016

The Bunnell water plant was shut down for the second time in two months overnight in a recurrence of the same issue traced to a malfunctioning float in a water tank. (© FlaglerLive)

The Bunnell water plant was shut down for the second time in two months overnight in a recurrence of the same issue traced to a malfunctioning float in a water tank. (© FlaglerLive)

Update: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016. The precautionary boil water notice has been rescinded by the City of Bunnell following restoration of the system’s water pressure and the bacteriological survey showing the water is safe to drink. 

For Bunnell residents it’s like old times, when boil-water advisories were the routine of living with an old water plant. That was to have been resolved with the opening of a new $4.8 million water plant less than a year ago. It hasn’t been.At least not yet: the glitches of a new plant are still bedeviling utility officials.


Overnight Sunday, the water plant shut down again for about half an hour, the water pressure in pipes fell from 60 pounds per square inch to below 22 pounds, some customers may have gone without water for a while, or experienced very low pressure, and the city issued another boil-water advisory, its second in two months. A similar problem shut down the plant in September, though that problem required the city to hook up to Palm Coast water for a while. Today’s problem was more brief, and there was enough water in the water tower to ensure a resumption of service.

Bunnell residents are advised to boil their water for anything involving drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth or washing dishes, and to do so until Tuesday, when the city expects to get the results of the tested water. 

Less than two weeks ago the plant was the scene of an odd incident when a suspect fleeing police managed to get into the plant and jump into a filtration water tank before he was arrested. That required the tank to be drained and disinfected. 

perry mitrano bunnell city

Perry Mitrano. (© FlaglerLive)

Perry Mitrano, the city’s utilities director, said there was “no water break, nothing egregious like that, no foul reasons, just a production reasons.” The precise nature of the problem is not known. It’s “some type of malfunction we’ve had intermittently at the plant, we know where it is but the technicians are going to try to resolve it,” Mitrano said. 

He said the problem is related to a malfunctioning float in one of the water tank. The float tells the plant the water level inside the tank. For some reason, the float is malfunctioning, giving the plant a false reading of a full tank, thus causing the water production to shut down, and the tank to drain, but not to kick back on.  The production issue lasted half an hour, Mitrano said, as alarms were set off. That enabled crews to repair the issue quickly and get production flowing again. But it doesn’t eliminate the need for a boil-water advisory. 

“We’re being prudent, we’re being honest,” Mitrano said. “It’s an inconvenience, we understand that, that’s all it comes down to.”

Part of the city’s advisory includes the following advice on how to disinfect water with bleach: “Tap water can be disinfected by adding eight drops of unscented household bleach (4 – 6 percentactive ingredients) to each gallon of water, then mixing the water and allowing it to stand for a minimum period of 30 minutes. Note: cloudy water requires 16 drops of bleach and a 30 minute contact time. Also, other approved chemical disinfectants are available at stores that sell camping and hiking supplies.”

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11 Responses for “Boil-Water Advisory In Bunnell as Water Plant Has a Problem For 3rd Time in 2 Months”

  1. Anonymous says:

    EVERYBODY foresaw this. It was done anyway.

  2. what? says:

    lol they are telling people to disinfect water with bleach?

  3. JonQPublik says:

    This is getting ridiculous. So many years with non-potable water, and now a new problem, with a new plant, with similar results.

  4. Dave says:

    The residents of Bunnell need to have confidence in knowing their water plant will always have the money available to fix it if something goes wrong. The Bunnell police shold really think about waiting to get their new fancy cars until they can afford it, and not use the money from the water treatment plant reserve funds.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Get the water from palm coast and turn the city plant into a museum!

  6. Jim says:

    What do you expect when you promote a garbage truck operator to utilities director!

  7. FLnative says:

    Working in this field for many years and having knowledge of the type of plant and float systems, I believe they are lying through their teeth. A float saying that the plant is full would not cause the pumps that keep the pressure in the system to where it is supposed to be from running. Something is going on and they keep blaming the float. Someone seems to not be doing their job. I can’t say much more but DEP needs to investigate this, they are doing a disservice to the citizens of Bunnell who are the ones that matter. I’m not employed there, but apologize to you the citizens on behalf of water operators who actually care about the job we are supposed to do.

  8. Dave says:

    Maybe the cops shouldn’t borrow money for fancy new cars from the fund that keeps this plant going. Just saying if you can’t afford you don’t need it, I’m sure clean water is more important then Shiney new cars to make the police feel more professional.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Seems to me this city has a problem with management. They just drained the water tank a week ago. There are far too many problems for this city to not be investigated. I think it is time for Mayor Robinson, Elbert Tucker and a few others to find a job and get off the gravy train. There is no excuse for this!!

  10. Jim says:

    FLnative thanks for the idea I’m looking up the number for DEP now!!!

  11. Ramone says:

    You get what you pay for Bunnell. Time to hire some professionals.

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