UPDATE: Soil shift causes water main break; precautionary boil order in effect

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | 2:34 p.m. CDT; updated 12:55 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — Columbia Water and Light has issued a precautionary boil order for residents of the Thornbrook and Millcreek Manor subdivisions following low pressure from a water main break, said Connie Kacprowicz, the department’s public information specialist.

The boil order advises the following precautions: boil cooking and drinking water for three minutes prior to use; do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker; remake ice using boiled water; and disinfect dishes and food contact surfaces by immersing for one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented bleach per gallon of water.

A shift in the soil caused the break in the water main that officials worry may allow bacterial elements to enter the water system, said Kacprowicz. The water is treated with chlorine that should eliminate any health risks, but Kacprowicz says Columbia Water and Light is “playing it safe” when it comes to the 700 households affected. Water used for bathing and laundry should be fine, she added.

Kacprowicz said she expects the boil order to be in effect for at least 24 hours while water samples are analyzed in a lab.

Since the break, water service has been restored and water pressure has been stabilized in the subdivisions, Kacprowicz said.

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