Boil Order Lifted: Follow instructions before water consumption

From the Ellsworth AFB Facebook page:

Effective immediately, the boil order for Ellsworth AFB, Antelope Ridge and Vandenberg Elementary School has been lifted.

In coordination with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Ellsworth has lifted the order based upon the results of water testing conducted by the 28th Medical Operations Squadron bio-environmental engineering flight.

More than 20 water samples were taken Sunday through Monday at various locations across the base and at the impacted areas in the surrounding community, with the last results returning at approximately 3 p.m. today. All samples tested negative for E. Coli bacteria.

To ensure the water remains safe for consumption and continue ongoing compliance with state regulations, Ellsworth personnel will conduct additional tests over the next 30 days. These tests however, do not affect the current boil order being lifted.

Impacted residents and facility managers are asked to follow specific flushing procedures prior to consuming water from affected homes, facilities and dormitories.

Base and Antelope Ridge residents should follow the below instructions prior to water consumption:

  • Flush all home fixtures (excluding toilets) for 15 minutes to include exterior hose spigots, faucets, tub/shower, etc.
  • Hot and cold water faucets should be run at the same time, fully turned on
  • Empty and refill all ice trays, repeating this process at least three times
  • Flush all toilets at least once 
  • Fridge water filters do not need to be replaced, but output should be run for 15 minutes
  • On base dorm residents should follow these same procedures above

Base facility managers and Vandenberg Elementary School staff should follow the below instructions prior to water consumption:

  • Follow all of the above instructions for homes (if fixtures are auto sensing, user will have to physically trigger sensor)
  • Tape or hold down water fountain buttons for 15 minutes
  • Fixtures include safety showers and eyewash stations connected to a building water supply
  • Empty all industrial ice machines and allow them to run for three dump cycles

Base personnel are reminded that any remaining medical concerns may be directed to the 28th Medical Group at 605-385-6700, and questions regarding flushing procedures may be directed to the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron hotline at 605-385-2580. Media representatives can call the 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs office at 605-385-5056 for additional information.

Boil Order Still in Effect; Awaiting Final Test Results

From the Ellsworth AFB Facebook page:

Our plan is to lift the Boil Order later this afternoon. So far, all waterline test results have come back negative. We will receive our final test results this afternoon and should be able to lift the order at that time. Please be advised that the ORDER IS STILL IN EFFECT.

To lift the order, base officials will notify affected individuals via phone calls, text messages and email (and we’ll post the update here on our Facebook page as well). We greatly appreciate everyone’s support and please continue to help us spread the word.

Boil Order Continues

From the Ellsworth AFB Facebook Page:

Good evening everyone and thank you for your continued support – as of now, we have no new info/updates to provide. Though we’re striving to expedite this process, it takes time to perform all necessary procedures accurately and safely. We were able to restore water to our on base homes in Prairie View yesterday and now we’re waiting on our waterline test results before lifting the Boil Order. Please understand that we will not lift the order until it is absolutely safe to do so.

As a REMINDER – below is a list of water distribution locations for those that live and work on base, as well as Antelope Ridge residents. We encourage everyone to pick up as much water as they need and we’ll be replenishing the distribution points as quickly as we can.
– Antelope Ridge Welcome Center
– Mailbox areas in on base housing areas
– 28th Medical Group
– Pride Hangar

Stay tuned here for additional updates as they become available and please share this message to help us spread the word.
[Residents with specific questions or concerns can call our CE Hotline at 605-385-2580]

UPDATE: Boil Order Information

From the Ellsworth AFB Facebook page:

The 28th Bomb Wing commander, along with base leaders met with residents from Antelope Ridge and members of the base this afternoon to provide an update on the current boil order in effect for Ellsworth, Antelope Ridge and Vandenberg Elementary school.

Though the boil order is still in effect, we expect to resolve the issue and lift the order by Tuesday, Aug. 26. Those affected are still advised to follow all previous safety precautions.


Families who currently have their water turned off should expect their water to be restored between 4 – 8 p.m. today. The 28th Civil Engineer Squadron is currently working to restore the water and will inform those specific residents of further instructions to ensure their water lines have been flushed out properly. Until the water is restored, the Bellamy Fitness Center hours have been extended to provide the affected residents a facility to use the restroom and bathe if so desired. The Pride Hangar also offers bathroom facilities during normal operating hours. Lastly, portable bathrooms will be available near homes without water in case families do not wish to use the bathroom facilities at the BFC or Pride Hangar.


Pallets of bottled water have been provided for those that live and work in the affected homes and facilities (both on base and in Antelope Ridge). Additionally, Ellsworth is working with the Vandenberg Elementary school staff to ensure faculty and students have clean water. Below are the main distribution locations where people can pick up cases of water (which will continue to be re-supplied as necessary and as quickly as possible).

Bottled Water Pick-Up Locations:

– Welcome Center in Antelope Ridge

– Mailbox areas in base housing

– The 28th Medical Group

– The CDC and Youth Center

*Additional pallets of water will be provided for specific locations on base that are not designed for mass distribution/pick-up (Dormitories, work locations, etc.)


In addition to boiling water before consuming it, be sure to always wash your hands with soap and water. It is acceptable to wash your hands with the water, as well as bathe and wash clothes, but do not ingest the water. Using boiled water when hand washing dishes will guarantee that any existing bacteria in the water is killed.


Residents can call our information hotline with any specific questions or concerns they have at 605-385-2580. Media can call Ellsworth Public Affairs representatives at 605-431-2962 or 605-391-7436.


We will share any and all pertinent information as it becomes available. Again, we expect our issues to be resolved by Tuesday, but are taking all the proper steps to ensure that we only lift the boil order when it is safe to do so. We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we work as quickly as possible through this process.

ATTENTION: Boil Water Order for ALL On-Base Facilities, Antelope Ridge, and Vandenberg Elem.

From Ellsworth AFB Facebook page:

Effective immediately, the base populace (all on-base facilities), Antelope Ridge residents, those at Vandenberg Elementary school are under a boil order until further notice due to an on-base water sample exceeding the E. Coli standard. DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. More information is being provided to all affected members on base and in the immediate community.

These bacteria in drinking water can make you sick and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Water should NOT be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in water.

E. Coli can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms (though these symptoms are not only caused by organisms in drinking water). If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist; you may want to seek medical advice from your healthcare provider. People at increased risk should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. You can reach the medical provider on call by dialing 385-6700.

In an effort to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, base officials will be shutting down certain housing in Prairie View Estates. Lastly, Ellsworth is working closely with regional EPA offices to ensure all standards and regulations are met in the interest of everyone’s safety.

ADDITIONAL INFO:The State of South Dakota and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set drinking water standards and have determined that the presence of fecal coliforms or E. Coli is a serious health concern. E. Coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source (for example, following heavy rains). It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system or a failure in the water treatment process.Bioenvironmental Engineering is taking the following actions to correct this problem – Repeat samples are being accomplished to confirm the presence/absence of E. Coli and investigation of the contamination source is currently being conducted.

Please share this information with all the people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

For more information, please contact your chain of command. 10639565_862903343721419_4356156066226302210_n