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After finding mouse in supply, Glen Ullin's water declared safe

GLEN ULLIN, N.D. — Any trace of the dead mouse that turned up in Glen Ullin's water storage tank Monday has been eradicated and the town's drinking water declared safe to drink.

Greg Wavra, drinking water program manager for the North Dakota Department of Health, said a boil order was lifted early Friday afternoon, after water samples were declared satisfactory by the state lab.

"We took care of that little mouse completely," Wavra said.

The little floater was discovered by city workers during a daily check and promptly removed. The city and the health department cooperated during the week to flush the town's storage tanks with chlorine and fresh water and disseminate it through the distribution system.

City manager Anthony Schirado said city crews will be anxious for sleep after working almost around the clock all week to manage the time-consuming process of disinfecting the water storage tanks with a high-test bleach product and repair two water breaks. The breaks happened after Southwest Pipeline increased pressure in the distribution system to provide fire suppression coverage.

"It's been a hell of week here," said Schirado, adding he's also been combating false social media rumors that managed to transform a small mouse into a floating cow almost overnight, with a few other critters thrown in for good measure.

City crews open the water tank hatches every day except Sunday, so the mouse couldn't have been in the tank much longer than 24 hours by the time it was discovered, he said.

The city will incur the cost of thousands of gallons of water dumped and flushed during the process.

While that was going on, citizens were instructed to boil water for consumption or use bottled water to prevent any possible ingestion of bacteria. The American Red Cross helped supply bottled water during the week.