Malfunction may cause dark water, but AMU says its safe to drink

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Alta Utilities water service reacted Monday to a malfunction in a high-pressure filter. The piece of equipment that was last replaced in 2014 suffered a failure in an air injector that helps in the backwash process of removing manganese, iron, and other items out that is captured by the media in the tank.

A funnel effect was created in each cell taking the smaller media to the bottom through the nozzles and ending up in the EDR cartridge filters, officials reported online.

AMU personnel had techs on site and the company recommended media replacement and nozzle repairs as soon as possible. Trustees approved replacement of the media and repairs that need to be done.

“In the meantime, our system will still be using the high-pressure filter for what amounts it can still take out and rely on the cartridge filters. These filters will need to be replaced every couple of weeks and a pallet load has been ordered,” it was reported.

“You will start to notice darker water from the manganese and iron. Do not be alarmed. The water is safe to drink and there is reading information available if you need it. The materials have been ordered and waiting for delivery with repair scheduling soon after. A whole house filter would help with the discoloration if you do not have one. As soon as repairs are completed, hydrant flushing will take place to flush the lines, weather permitting.”

AMU personnel is working with the IDNR to ensure that Alta water is kept at a safe drinking level. AMU has spent a lot of funds on replacing aging infrastructure to provide quality drinking water, the city posted. “For those new to Alta, $1,869,687 was spent on upgrades to the water plant and EDR water softening system in 2013-2015, $1,303,010 was spent on land for well/plant sites and installing Well #6 in 2017-2018, $825,000 was spent on installing Well #7 in 2018-2019, and thousands have been spent on leak detection/repairs since 2012, and water main replacement/installation from 2018-present.”

Concerns can be emailed to Randy Tilk, utility manager, at To contact a trustee, the email list is on the AMU website: