Computer glitch empties Farwell water tower Saturday, Residents warned to boil water

November 12, 2018

By Pat Maurer

A malfunction of Farwell’s SCADA (computer) system caused the Village water tower to empty, resulting in a “boil water alert” for approximately 378 system customers last Saturday night, said Village Clerk Kayla Randle Monday.

Monday Village residents were still waiting for the alert to be lifted.


Superintendent Jason Walters said he discovered the problem around 8 p.m. Saturday night. “He said the SCADA system was giving false readings that there was 27 feet of water in the tower when it was actually empty.”

He continued, “This first thing I did was issue a boil water alert and contact the Department of Environmental Quality to notify them about the problem.” He said he manually pumped water back into the tower and began flushing some hydrants.

“It was a problem with the SCADA controls at the water tower,” Walters said. “We were able to repair the system in-house.”

He said after flushing the hydrants, he sent the first water sample to the lab in Clare for testing. “The DEQ requires two clean samples taken 24 hours apart before the boil water alert could be lifted. He said Monday afternoon that he was expecting the results from the second sample back on Tuesday.

“Once we have that second “clean” sample, we will lift the alert,” he said.


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