Neodesha residents now told tap water safe to drink

A sample of tap water is drawn for testing in Neodosha, Kan. (Photo: KSN/John Asebes)
A sample of tap water is drawn for testing in Neodosha, Kan. (Photo: KSN/John Asebes)

NEODESHA, Kan. (KSNW) – Days after an explosion destroyed the Airosol plant in Neodesha, Kansas, residents of the southeast Kansas town are slowly getting their lives back to normal

After days of having to drink bottled water or boil their tap water to make it safe to drink, residents in Neodesha have gotten the results from the latest tests of their water and learned it’s now safe to drink.

The plant explosion, which shocked the town, has city officials now tallying up the damages to the town and some of its services.

“The fire department we know had some damages to some hoses,” said Neodesha City Commissioner Devin Johnson. “Our ladder truck had some, mostly from heat, stuff that is going to be to fix but still comes at a cost.”

Jay Bair, though, said his focus is testing the water, a job undertaken by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

“We fill it up to above that line, and we cap it off and seal it back off with the paperwork KDHE sends with it.”

The city has been testing the water every day since the explosion.

“Preliminary results seem to be promising,” Johnson said.

And even though the water got a good report card from KDHE, the city was told must have several days of clean results before the order is lifted.

“We have to do two consecutive days of system tests before KDHE will lift the boil ban,” said Bair.

KDHE and hazardous materials teams tested both the city’s water source and its alternative source for chemical runoff. After several days, those tests are beginning to show positive signs. For those living with the frustration of bringing in water or boiling it, that’s a big relief.

Now, Neodesha residents have the green light to drink their tap water without boiling it.

“We get to run our dishwasher here, but it will be a big relief for our residents to so they can do their washers, bath, do their dishes and drink water,” said Lynne Estes who works at the Housing Authority in Neodesha.

The town will continue testing its water in the coming days to ensure its continued safety.