Boil advisory issued for parts of Iowa City after water main break

Officials say advisory expected to be lifted by Monday

Gregg Hennigan
Published: February 20 2014 | 1:08 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:56 am in

UPDATE: Iowa City water customers west of Riverside Drive and in University Heights are being asked to boil water used for drinking or cooking because of potential contamination from a water main break.

The break happened at 11 p.m. Wednesday on Capitol Street near Lafayette Street. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issued a precautionary boil advisory Thursday morning.

The advisory does not include the University of Iowa, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics or the Iowa City VA Medical Center, which have a separate water supply, according to a city of Iowa City news release.

Crews have repaired the water main, but the advisory will remain in place until two sets of bacteria samples are tested and meet all regulatory standards, according to the release. That could take until Monday.

The news release announcing the boil advisory was issued nearly 12 hours after the water main break. Iowa City spokeswoman Shannon McMahon said information must be sent to the DNR and the break investigated, and the process can take time.

Water should be boiled for one minute and allowed to cool before using. The DNR said tap water may be used for bathing and similar purposes.

Eastern Iowa has had more water main breaks than usual this winter. McMahon said the location and large size of the main that failed Wednesday played a role in the boil advisory.

She added that it is just an advisory, not an order, which is used in more serious situations, and the city does not believe the water supply was contaminated.


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