Boil order issued for ES residents

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Eureka Springs Public Works Department is asking residents in certain areas of the city to boil their water before drinking it or preparing food while crews work to repair a water line at 120 N. Main St. that broke Sunday afternoon, leaving several residents without water.

The boil order is for the areas between East Mountain and East Van Buren streets along the north to the intersection of council and Echols Streets, and west ending at North Main Street. The boil order will be in effect until Public Works can test the water for bacteria to make sure it is safe, according to a press release.

Eureka Springs Public Works Director Dwayne Allen said he issued the order as a precautionary measure "because of the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system as the result of the complete loss of normal system pressure."

"The water department is working to isolate the lines to be able to start the repairs. It will probably be tomorrow before we complete the repairs," Allen told the Lovely County Citizen.

Allen said the break in the 8-inch water line happened around 4 p.m. Sunday and crews are working to "get the tank back up because we lost so much water."

He said the break was caused by the ground shifting from high temperatures and that one resident said he witnessed what looked like a landslide when the pipe busted.

"We are looking at the west side, where our major feed is. The majority of the town on the west side was affected and that includes the East Mountain and Pivot Rock tanks and the 1894 stand pipe," he said. "By the time we got in and started working on the line, it was heading for disaster quickly and whole town was at risk for losing water."

Allen said crews have been pumping 1.5 million gallons into the system overnight trying to get water to the town.

The order urges residents in the affected areas to boil their water for one minute before drinking it or using it for cooking and to discard ice cubes unless the water has been boiled before freezing them. The water is safe for bathing but small children should be supervised to make sure they don't consume it, the press release said.

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