Bacteria Water

Manawa boil water advisory lifted after rain floods wastewater treatment center – NBC26

(Below is a transcript of the full broadcast story, with additional details for the web)

Like many Manawa residents, Manawa Volunteer EMT Tony Drath is seeing the extent of the damage for the first time.

“I know you got some shots of it over there, but the water to be so low that people could go fishing. It’s crazy, I’ve never seen it like this.”

Drath says he was one of 200 responding emergency service members who raced to Manawa to help. But roads into the city were flooded so badly that he wasn’t able to get in.

Inside Manawa, “chaos,” says Manawa Fire Chief Josh Smith — especially after officials feared the dam was beginning to fail.

“Right now, the structure of the dam is in place. Until we get someone in here to inspect it, we won’t know what the damage of it is. The erosion mainly on the north bank is what we’re watching for right now.”

Smith, who is also the city’s director of public works says after the Manawa Dam eroded, the city’s wastewater treatment plant was flooded.

“I still got crews actively getting pumps up and going and getting everything leveled out there, but pumps started leveling out.”

Smith says as a result, the decision was made to place the city under a boil water advisory out of precaution.

On Saturday, Manawa Fire stepped up with the help of the community and businesses to supply clean water for those who need it.

Manawa Mayor Mike Frazier is proud of how the city is banding together when everyone needs it most.

“This is Wisconsin. This is what makes a small community great.”

Mayor Frazier says those affected by the flooding should call 211 for help. Meanwhile, Fire Chief Smith says Lindsay Athletic Park is closed “until further notice” after it was under “four to six feet of [flood]water.”

Lastly, neighbors say they are disappointed that the annual Manawa Mid-Western Rodeo would not be continuing, but are hopeful that it will come back next year.

UPDATE: The boil water advisory in the Manawa area is now lifted, according to an update from city Public Works Director Josh Smith just before 9 p.m. Saturday evening. Smith says Waupaca County officials lifted the advisory after “drinking water samples all came back negative for bacteria.”

ORIGINAL REPORTING (12 p.m. Saturday):

Manawa Fire Chief and Public Works Director Josh Smith says he hopes for city-wide boil water advisory to be lifted around 7 p.m. Saturday evening.

  • City officials say the flooding situation has “stabilized,” but will wait until Saturday evening to lift the water boil advisory
  • More than 200 first responders were on the scene in Manawa to facilitate evacuations, clean up water, and prevent the Manawa Dam from breaking completely
  • The Manawa Fire Department is hosting a water drive Saturday afternoon at its station at 500 Bridge St., providing free water to those affected by the boil water advisory

Smith says the reason for the boil water advisory was because the city wastewater treatment center, located downstream of the eroded Manawa Dam, experienced torrential flooding.

Smith says he and other DPW workers and emergency officials stayed as late as 12 a.m. Saturday morning to clear water out of the facility.

Manawa Mayor Mike Frazier says anyone who is directly affected by the flooding should call 211 for more details on how to get help. The mayor also lamented the cancellation of this weekend’s Mid-Western Rodeo in Manawa, calling it a “big loss” for charity.

The Manawa Fire Department is hosting a water drive Saturday afternoon, with water donated from neighbors and surrounding areas.