Update: Clarke County Joint Administrative Services Purchasing Manager Mike Legge reports that the Boyce-area water supply problem has been successfully corrected and there will be no interruption of water service.
Severe storms that raced through Clarke County last night damaged the computer and software system used to operate Boyce’s municipal water system. System technicians have been working to correct the problem since midnight but as of 3:00 pm EST the pumping system was still inoperative. Water supplies in the municipal water tower may be exhausted by as early as this afternoon and could force the town to use an alternative water source that would require boiling prior to consumption.
Clarke County Joint Administrative Services Purchasing Manager Mike Legge said that the software control system problem was detected yesterday evening when supply pumps stopped sending water to the Boyce water tower.
Legge said that he believes the water plant and control systems sustained a direct lightning strike during the storm.
Upon investigation, county officials discovered that the computer and software system that controls the water pumps supplying the water tower had become inoperative and could not be re-booted. Officials contacted Inboden Environmental Services, Clarke County’s water and sewer support contractor, who arrived at the water plant around midnight.
In addition to Bowden Environmental, Siemens Corporation has also been called in and has been on-site in Boyce since 11:00 a.m. this morning. Siemens supplies the control software used to run the water plant and supply system.
Legge said that he has been in contact throughout the day with Boyce Fire Chief Brian Conrad, County Administrator David Ash and the Virginia Department of Health.
“At this point residents don’t need to do anything different” Legge said. “There’s a chance that we still may get the problem corrected before implementing any contingency plan.
In the event that the water control software cannot be corrected before the water tower supply is depleted Legge said that an alternative supply method will be used to pump spring water into the tower.
“The raw spring water will be chlorinated before it is placed in the water tower but it will not be filtered as normal” Legge said. “Virginia Department of Health regulations require that the water be boiled before use if that step becomes necessary.
At this time no additional action is required by area residents. Residents are advised to periodically check ClarkeCounty.gov for additional information related to the status of the Boyce-area water supply.