Boyd County Drinking Water Restored After Six Months

by Will Bauer, NET News

Oct. 4, 2019, 1 p.m.

Residents in Boyd County now have running drinking water after being without it for six months.

The small county in northeast Nebraska lost its drinking water supply when the Spencer Dam collapsed and wiped out the pipeline below the Niobrara River on March 14.

Rex Black, chair of the Boyd County Rural Water District, said it wasn’t easy supplying the county’s water with three farm wells, but he said the communities were patient.

“Well, it’s really awesome," Black said. "It’s kind of hard to get used to. You are just used to going and grabbing a plastic bottle of water to drink. As soon as we get back to going to the faucet and figuring out we can drink like we used to. That’s great, but it’s just kind of hard to get used; we’ve been doing it for so long.”

After several delays, contractors finished pipeline repairs on Aug. 29. State health officials approved the water quality in multiple communities on Sept. 10 and the water was pumping into homes by Sept. 20, according to the Boyd County Rural Water District.

Even with the completed repairs, the flood recovery continues.The pipeline site along the Niobrara River is being reworked after the six months of construction, the farm wells need to be restored to normal and smaller pipes in Boyd County also failed in the past week, Black said.