Water Boil Advisory for Wakefield, nearby townships

A Water Boil Advisory is in effect for the city of Wakefield and municipal water customers of the Gogebic Range Water Authority, which includes the Bessemer, Ironwood, and Wakefield Townships.

On Monday, April 24, City of Wakefield conducted routine testing of the municipal water supply. Known as Bacti-Test, the test looks specifically for indication of Coliform but can indicate the presence of E. Coli. After the incubation period, the City was notified of a positive result for E. Coli at the water source point on Wednesday, April 26. This location is where raw water from the aquifer enters the City’s water system, before the addition of chlorine and fluoride.

Critical customers and the Gogebic Range Water Authority were notified after the positive result. Kleiman Pump and Well Drilling inspected the wellhead and disinfected the well castings and well shaft out of an abundance of caution.

More samples were taken on April 26. Two locations on the distribution site tested negative, but there was a positive result for E. Coli at the source of entry.  

On Friday, April 28, the City collected more samples, with another positive result at a source water sampling point. Testing on Saturday had the same result.

Residents are advised to not drink the water without boiling it first. The City of Wakefield says to bring all water to a boil, let it boil for a minute, and use once cool. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and preparing food until further notice.

More information about this type of advisory can be found on the CDC website.

A thorough investigation is being done to determine the source of the contamination and resolve the issue. The City of Wakefield is working with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to ensure water supplies are protected against contamination.

Tests will continue to be conducted daily until all testing points have negative results for two consecutive days. At that point, the advisory may be lifted.

There are approximately 3,400 people impacted by this Water Boil Advisory.