Pawhuska has Bluestem Lake water tested

Robert Smith

Pawhuska city government arranged for water from Bluestem Lake to be tested in the aftermath of a recent health incident. Water for testing was taken from the lake on the morning of June 10 and processed by Accurate Enviromental Laboratories of Stillwater.

According to Accurate Environmental Laboratories, it received water from Pawhuska the same morning and tested it for E-Coli.

A copy of the test result, which City Manager Larry Eulert provided to the Journal-Capital, shows a finding of 47.1 as the Most Probable Number of cells per 100 milliliters of water.

“That’s way below what DEQ monitors,” Eulert said Friday, explaining that the level at which further action would have to be taken is 126, more than twice the level found.

Eulert said the test result information had been provided to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. He also cautioned families visiting Bluestem Lake, located northwest of Pawhuska, to avoid playing in the water for the time being, given that storm-related runoff of potentially harmful substances remains a concern in the aftermath of recent flooding.

In a separate conversation, Eulert said Monday morning that Pawhuska successfully completed maintenance to its electrical power system last Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. The city converted to backup generator power during the maintenance and city utility officials anticipated a short power outage early Thursday, when the system was converted back from generator power to the regular electricity supply.

City government had initially anticipated the power interruption would occur anywhere from 3-6 a.m., but Eulert said Monday that it actually happened about mid-morning Thursday.