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Bartlesville Osage Casino under boil water order issued to Barnsdall

The Bartlesville Osage Casino is complying with a mandatory boil water order that is currently issued to the city of Barnsdall.

While taking precautions to accommodate casino guests and employees, the casino remains open.

The Bartlesville casino property is located 10-15 minutes southwest of the city in Osage County and receives its water from Barnsdall, which received the boil order alert from the state Department of Environmental Quality on Friday Feb. 5.

That evening, Barnsdall Mayor Brock Moore reported on Facebook the DEQ “has issued a mandatory boiling order for the City of Barnsdall and rural (water) districts #5 and #15 until further notice. Turbidity levels were high at the treatment plant.”

In a statement released by Osage Casino CEO Byron Bighorse, the casino is complying with the boil order, noting: “the health and safety of our guests and employees is our top priority.”

The casino also notes: “We are boiling all water used in food preparation. We are supplying guests with complimentary bottled water and canned soft drinks. We are having ice shipped in from an outside vendor. We are working closely with the Department of Environmental Quality to make sure we are within safety standards.”

Osage Nation Gaming Commission Acting Director Elizabeth Hembree advised the Commission board of the situation at the board’s Feb. 10 meeting where the commission learned the casino is part of rural water district No. 5.

Moore also reported the Oklahoma National Guard brought in a 2,000-gallon water tanker that is located behind the Ethel Briggs library on Feb. 7 and invited residents to bring their own containers to get water for their homes.

As of Feb. 11, the boil order remained in effect as city officials and the DEQ continued to work on the water situation.

According to the DEQ, a boil advisory calls for affected residents to “bring the water to a rolling boil for one full minute. Allow the water to cool to room temperature before use.” The DEQ also states people under boil orders must boil water “for anything you or your family might ingest,” which also includes using boiled water for food preparation such as washing fruit/ vegetables or washing dishes.

As for bathing, the DEQ notes: “The risk of bathing or showering in tap water is uncertain. People who have open wounds or skin rashes should not use non-boiled water. Extreme caution should be used with infants and young children to insure they do not ingest any non-boiled water.”

*Editor’s note: The DEQ suspended the mandatory boil order on Saturday Feb. 13, according to an update Moore posted on Facebook.


Benny Polacca

Original Publish Date: 2016-02-11 00:00:00


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Benny Polacca
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.

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