White Bird Faces Major Problems Without Useable Water


The town of White Bird in Idaho county is relying on porta-potties on city streets for bathroom use. It's because the city doesn’t have any water. Without water, residents haven't been able to flush toilets or even take a shower. Luckily nearby communities are stepping in to assist the town with its residence hygiene.

The town is currently in a state of emergency. Officials say they has been without a drop of running water since this past Monday. The town is getting water bottle donations from all over the state to give to residents. But without running water White Bird still faces greater dangers.

"The idea is nothing is safe to drink right out of the tap," says White Bird Mayor Homer Brown.

White Bird will likely remain without running water through the weekend. It's all because of a possible leak in the city's water well. But not having drinkable tap water is only the tip of the iceberg.

"Because we're out of water in town, of course we don’t have any water if there was a fire," says Brown.

Mayor Brown says even though it's winter, cold weather won’t stop flames from spreading without the fire department able to stop it. But local communities are coming to the town of 91's aid.

"We've gotten together with the White Bird Highway Department; they've got a big tanker they’ve got set up for us. We filled it up with river water in case we have a fire."

But another major problem for White Bird is finding a way to fix what they believe is a leak in their ground water well.

"As of right now, the city doesn’t really have the funding for it," says Brown.

The solution to the town's funding problem may actually be solved through a company they're currently paying to fix a separate problem.

"We actually have a sewer project going on in town. We have an engineering company, Mountain Waterworks down in Boise that's really helped us out with our funding. They've actually stepped in and are the ones doing the work and actually finding the funding for us."

Mayor Brown says he expects the town to be without water through the weekend, and everyone is currently relying on bottled water shipped in from other municipalities. He also says if it wasn’t for those giving aid, the White Bird water crisis could be even more detrimental. White Bird has received water bottle donations from all over the state, including Boise, Grangeville, and even in Lewiston. Mayor Brown says anyone in the state sending water bottles would be a great help.

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