Neighborhood goes days without water: 'You can't flush the toilet'

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- For residents in the small Bench neighborhood of the Malad and Hilton area off Orchard Street, the past few days have been a bit of an ordeal.

Their water supply was cut off Sunday.

But it was back on line Thursday.

"Well, it's something you take for granted," said resident Jeremy Shipley. "When it's gone you can't flush the toilet or wash your hands without bottled water. It makes you realize how low you are in evolution."

The eight-year-old pump to the privately owned Malad and Hilton Water Supply Company's single well broke down, leaving residents on some 24 properties to fend for themselves while the company scrambled to get things fixed.

"I was angry," Shipley admitted. "But then I realized, que sera sera. What are you going to do?"

The biggest problem in getting the pump fixed was power lines that run right over the pump house. The water company had to get Idaho Power to turn off the power before they could get to work.

"This is kind of a special situation, with the powerlines right on top of us," said Steve Caron, owner of Caron Pump Company, which repaired the broken well pump. "We weren't going to work with the power on. And we knew the heat was coming this week."

A frustrated spokesman for the water supply company apologized for the inconvenience and said it took a few days to find a pump repair company.

Now that the system's repaired and the well disinfected, the Department of Environmental Quality advises residents to still boil the water before drinking for another 24 hours.