Water conservation order lifted in Metro East - KMOV.com


Water conservation order lifted in Metro East

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Map of areas impacted by Illinois American Water boil order (Credit: Illinois American Water) Map of areas impacted by Illinois American Water boil order (Credit: Illinois American Water)

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) – Illinois American Water has lifted the conservation and boil orders in the Metro East.

Wednesday, the company issued a boil order and water conservation because the continuous cold weather caused an increase in water main breaks and ice buildup at their East St. Louis water plant, which resulted in a loss of pressure across their distribution system. The boil order was lifted over the weekend.

“Our team wants to thank our direct customers for their patience during this boil water order,” said Karen Cooper, senior manager of field operations and production. “There is always a sense of urgency when water service to our customers is affected. The last thing we want to do is impact water service to our friends, neighbors and the businesses we support, but we also want to ensure our customers are receiving safe, quality drinking water. Therefore, a boil water order was necessary. We appreciate our customers understanding.”

When the boil order was lifted, Illinois American Water officials asked customers to conserve water while crews continued to battle frigid temperatures. Late Tuesday morning, the water company said the conservation order had been lifted.

Even though the boil order and water conservation were lifted, Illinois American Water said the water treatment will stay at “free chlorine,” which does not contain ammonia. Due to the temporary change, customers may experience a noticeable chlorine taste or odor in their water due to the switch in chlorine types.

During the boil order, several restaurants around the Metro East were impacted, causing some to shut down while others operated through the water restrictions. Smoothie King and Chipotle on Illinois Street in Fairview Heights were closed while the boil order was in place.

“I don’t know if I’m going to survive…I love my Smoothie King!” said Teresa, a Fairview Heights resident, sarcastically on Wednesday when she learned about the boil order from Smoothie King. “Well I’m glad I showered already, ya know got that out of the way, and dinner’s just going to have to be leftovers,” said Teresa.

Meanwhile, the McDonald’s on Illinois St. and Tavern on Main in Belleville stayed open. Both were serving customers with bottled water and sodas.

“I’m easy to please,” said John Turner, a customer who was not inconvenienced by the boil order affecting the drinks served at Tavern on Main.

Turner told News 4 the freezing temperatures already impacted his life before this boil order was placed.

“At the moment I can’t live in my house because the pipes in the ceiling broke and flooded it,” said Turner. 

Terry Mackin with Illinois American Water said the boil order was a precautionary measure issued after water pressure dropped. There was also a conservation effort to save water for fire emergencies.

“[We’re] just asking people to use water wisely, we really are. Maybe one shower instead of two, maybe don’t wash clothes today, maybe just use water for only those essential needs,” said Mackin. 

Thursday morning, Illinois American Water officials collected water samples and established that it met all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Safe Drinking Water Act standards and regulations.

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