Tioga apartment water confirmed poisoned

TIOGA The North Dakota Department of Health has confirmed that “inappropriate materials” were introduced to water lines servicing a newer apartment complex in northeast Tioga.

Three rounds of sampling were conducted on the lines at Tioga Townhomes with the latest conducted on April 30. Test results confirmed diesel and anti-freeze materials were present even after frequent flushing of the lines by the city, said Wayne Kern, the director of the municipal facilities division of the North Dakota Department of Health.

“At this point the water to the complex remains shut off and to my knowledge there are no residents in the complex,” he added.

Residents of the complex were first notified by city officials of the possible introduction of harmful chemicals into their water lines on April 10. There were 20 residents at the time and they were asked to vacate the complex and stay in hotels, with family or friends or wherever they could go.

The water to the complex’s independent main was shut off from the city lines since that time. Testing downstream from where the city’s water joined the line was performed shortly thereafter and tests showed that the city’s water had not been affected by the chemicals.

It is believed by health and city officials that the chemicals were introduced by a contractor in order to thaw frozen pipes in the building.

Kern said that the city is currently weighing its options on what to do next. The way he sees it is that the first option is continue flushing the system until testing confirms that the contaminants have been removed. The second option is to force the owners of the complex to replace the affected pipes.

“We just got the test results in and now we’re trying to figure out what to do,” said Jeff Moberg, the city’s water director.

He added that he had no comment on what decision the city was leaning in because they hadn’t yet had a chance to talk with the owners of the complex. He does hope to speak with them at some point today.