A water main break at O Avenue has caused the city of Cedar Rapids to issue a precautionary boil order for residents of northwest Cedar Rapids.
According to a news release, the water system lost pressure due to a water main break in the vicinity of 26th St. NW at around 7:15 a.m. on Saturday.
The precautionary notice generally applies to properties adjacent to O Avenue NW, with Woodside Ave NW as a western boundary and 26th St NW as an easterly boundary, according to the release. Homes and apartments with water service from the O Ave water main between these boundaries will not have service for the duration of required repairs.
Residents in these areas are asked to bring tap water to a rolling boil, boil for one minute, and cool before using for cooking or consumption. Residents may also use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, and preparing food until further notice.
The release goes on to explain that “even when water service is restored very quickly, as it will be to most residences within this area, the DNR requires that a boil order be issued for residents who lose pressure. We are conducting biological tests to ensure the safety of the water, and we will continue to communicate with all customers, especially those within the most impacted area, until we have results from these tests confirming the safety of our water.”
Water main breaks such as this can cause harmful microbes to find their way into drinking water. These microbes and other contaminants can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms and may pose a special health risk for infants, some elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you should seek medical advice.
What is being done?
According to the release, the break has been isolated and limited to an outage area of approximately 100 homes or apartments and repairs are currently underway.
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Officials said they hope to restore water service to these properties within six to eight hours. There will likely be air in your water service piping when the water is turned back on.
The release advices residents to run cold water through a faucet that does not have an aerator screen by opening faucets slowly to allow the air to escape. Air will make a spurting or hissing sound as it escapes through the faucet. Once the water is flowing allow the faucet to run for a minute or two. The first water may be cloudy due to air in the water or particles that dislodge as the pipes fill with water. The cloudiness should clear fairly quickly.
Once water is restored, water samples will be taken and tested to ensure the safety of your water. A secondary notice will be issued when this localized boil order is lifted.
According to the release, it is likely that residents within this defined area will need to boil water for the next 24 hours until the problem is fixed.
This article will be updated when tests show that you no longer need to boil your water.