Southern IL communities can now use water freely after water mai - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southern IL communities can now use water freely after water main break

City of Christopher and Red Cross pass out water to those in the city that are in need. (Source: Brittany Jacob/KFVS) City of Christopher and Red Cross pass out water to those in the city that are in need. (Source: Brittany Jacob/KFVS)
Rauner in southern Illinois talking to mayors (Source: KFVS) Rauner in southern Illinois talking to mayors (Source: KFVS)
Pumps are shut down after a 36-inch steel water line break at Rend Lake. (Source: Brittany Jacob/KFVS) Pumps are shut down after a 36-inch steel water line break at Rend Lake. (Source: Brittany Jacob/KFVS)
Residents are being to asked to conserve water due to a major water line break (Source: Chris Drury, KFVS) Residents are being to asked to conserve water due to a major water line break (Source: Chris Drury, KFVS)
Inter-City Water distribution system extends into seven counties of southern Illinois (Source: KFVS) Inter-City Water distribution system extends into seven counties of southern Illinois (Source: KFVS)
ILLINOIS (KFVS) -

Many towns are now lifting the boil water orders after a main line break left thousands without water in southern Illinois.

On Monday, May 21, Rend Lake reported that the plant was able to keep pace with demand and keep all tanks and towers filled throughout the day.

On Friday morning, May 18, the 36-inch main line repair was fixed using a temporary bypass.

Work continued on Monday on the temporary bypass.

An 18-inch tapping sleeve was en route from Texas when the 12-inch bypass pipe was installed. According to Rend Lake, the 12-inch bypass pipe was what first allowed water to start flowing into the system at 2 a.m. on Thursday. By Monday, both the 12-inch and 18-inch bypass pipes were installed and available for use.

According to Larry Sanders, General Counsel, Rend Lake Conservancy District, communities are not being asked to conserve water anymore. Feel free to do laundry, wash dishes and take a shower.

On Sunday morning, May 20, all water samples came back satisfactory. The towns and water districts may now draw their samples and submit for testing. Full water capacity is anticipated by Monday morning.

Many boil water orders in the district are still in effect until further notice.

Governor Bruce Rauner issued a disaster proclamation for nine counties impacted by the Rend Lake Conservancy District water main break. State support for affected communities will continue until all water supply issues are resolved. Counties affected include: Franklin, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Perry, Saline, Washington, White and Williamson.

Rauner met with southern Illinois mayors impacted by the water main break. He was in Marion at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 18, and then toured the Rend Lake Conservancy Water District in Benton at 3:30 p.m.

“We’re encouraged that water is now flowing through the system,” Gov. Rauner said. “We’ve arranged for several truckloads of water to be delivered to the area today. We will continue to support the local officials in whatever way we can until everyone has good, safe water flowing again.”

According to the Rend Lake Conservancy District, at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, the Intercity Water Plant was pumping water into the system with two high service pumps. The lake intake and the treatment plant were returned to service.

The system was on a boil water order until Intercity Water receives test results showing that the water is safe to drink.

According to the district, towns and water districts may only collect their samples after Intercity receives a report showing the water is safe to use. Intercity Water will draw samples on Saturday.

Because of the complete shutdown and the emptying of pipes and tanks, the sediment will be disturbed. The district warns there will be an increased possibility of the air and floating copper and lead in the lines.

Water customers will need to remove aerators from faucets or use supplies without aerators, like tubs, to flush the lines. This means let the water run for a couple of minutes before collecting water to be boiled and then cooled for consumption.

District ground storage tanks are currently being filled. Booster pumps will be used to fill the tanks of the towns and water districts.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was briefed on the situation several times on Thursday, May 17 and issued the following statement:

“The Rend Lake Water Conservancy District, which supplies water to more than 175,000 people in southern Illinois, experienced a major water main break late yesterday afternoon. Efforts by the district to repair the break are on-going at this time. While there currently have been no requests for state assistance, state agencies are actively preparing to provide support needed to ensure the public health and safety of the many communities served by the district.

“Earlier today the Illinois Emergency Management Agency convened a conference call with several state agencies and mutual aid partners to assess the whole community impacts of situation and prepare for potential deployment of state resources t0 impacted communities until the water supply is restored.

“Our primary concern is the well-being of the people affected by this situation. I want to assure everyone affected that the State of Illinois will do everything in our power to ensure public health and safety is protected until this situation is resolved.”

Inter-City Water distribution system extends into seven counties of southern Illinois. According to the district, the plant produces 27 million gallons of water per day. Thirty-five towns and water districts buy wholesale water for distribution to their customers. Another 1,200 retail customers also receive their water from Inter-City Water.

Some of the counties included Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Perry and Williamson.

Click here for boil water orders issued

Franklin County

The burn ban was lifted on Sunday, May 20.

A boil order for West Frankfort was lifted on Monday, May 21.

A Public Health Notice & Instructions for Consumers: The system will be on a boil water order until Intercity Water receives test results showing that the water is safe to drink. Because of the complete shutdown and the emptying of pipes and tanks, the sediment will be disturbed. There will be an increased possibility of the incidence of air and floating copper and lead in the lines. Please to remove aerators from faucets or to use faucets without aerators, like tubs, to flush the lines. This simply means to let the water run for a couple of minutes before collecting water to be boiled and then cooled for consumption. 

Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department Reminders: 

  • Run your dishwasher empty; do this for three dishwashing cycles for maximum benefit 
  • Dispose of ice in ice makers until you are sure it's safe to use all ice in ice machines 
  • Flush all in-line water filters used in for water consumption, cooking or dishwashing 
  • Vigorously boil water and adhere to the length of time recommended in the boil order. 

According to the Franklin County EMA on Friday, a boil water order will remain in effect in the county until further notice. They say the water main by-pass is completed. Contractors installed the last fittings at 2 a.m. The plant energized one pump at 3 a.m. starting the flow of treated water through the HDPE above ground by-pass into the system. Soon, water was being drawn from Rend Lake to start the treatment process.

The Franklin County School District posted an updated end-of-year events calendar. Due to the water main break, they had to make up a day.

The Zeigler Water District boil water order was lifted on Monday, May 21.

Ameren Illinois would like to encourage Franklin County residents and businesses impacted by the water outage to turn off their natural gas or electric water heater until their water supply has been restored.

Water Distribution Centers have been set up at select locations within Franklin County. Franklin County Residents who are experiencing a water outage in their home can visit these locations to pick up bottled water.

The following locations are now open and ready to service citizens:

  • Seasons Resort: 12575 Golf Course Dr, Whittington, IL 62897
  • Civic Center Christopher: 208 N. Thomas St. Christopher, IL 62822
  • West City Street Department: 400 Block of South Central Street West City, IL 62812
  • Royalton City Hall: 311 S. Main St. Royalton, IL 62983

Free water to all of Franklin County residents at the West City Street Department across from the Village Hall/Fire Station. Please bring ID.

Sesser police officers will be performing welfare checks on elderly and the disabled. They have a list but if you are in need of anything or know of anyone please contact Sesser city hall at 625-3611 after hours 724-2424 hit 0.

All water-borne facilities at Rend Lake managed by the Corps of Engineers, such as restrooms and shower houses, opened on Friday, May 18. The facilities will remain under a boil water order until further notice.

The Rend Lake openings included all the restrooms and shower houses in the four Corps-managed campgrounds: South Marcum, Gun Creek, North Sandusky and South Sandusky. Full fees were re-instated starting on  Friday, May 18.

All areas including South Sandusky Day Use/Beach and North Marcum Day Use planned to open on Friday, May 18 are now open. These areas will have restrooms available. It is suggested that visitors bring drinking water with them until the boil water order is lifted.

According to the Corps of Engineers, a total burn ban will remain in effect on all Rend Lake project lands until further notice. All outdoor fires, including campfires and grills, are not allowed until the burn ban is lifted.

A boil water order has been issued for all West City residents on Thursday, May 17.

Franklin County residents are encouraged to boil water until further notice.

The City of Christopher Mayor's Office has advised emergency management that the city will be suspending water service at 1 p.m.

Hamilton County

All Hamilton County Water District customers and the villages of Springerton, Mill Shoals and Enfield will have a boil water advisory beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday.

According to Water District General Manager Dale Biggerstaff all Hamilton Co. Water District customers were asked to stop unnecessary water use as of 2 p.m. on May 17. 

Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency asks residents to delay laundry and other household chores involving water until service has been restored.

Jackson County

Southern Illinois residents affected by a water shortage were welcome to visit the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Student Recreation Center to take advantage of its shower facilities. SIU Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno invited affected residents to use the shower facilities at the recreation center until the issue is resolved. The center was open from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

The City of Carbondale released a statement saying its residents are not affected by the break but residents in surrounding communities were welcome to use a bulk fill station in the city. The fill station was at the Water Treatment Plant according to city officials. 

Jefferson County

The boil water order in Mt. Vernon, Ill. was lifted on Monday, May 21.

The Mount Vernon IDES office, located at 333 Potomac Blvd., was open on Friday, May 18 as service from Rend Lake Water Conservancy has been restored.

Distribution resumed at 9 a.m. May 18 morning at Veteran's Park.

Mayor Lewis has declared the State of Emergency for the City of Mt. Vernon due to loss of water.

Perry County

The City of Du Quoin gave out free bottled water for all affected water customers of Du Quoin and Greenwood Creek-Nation Water on Saturday, May 19. 

The City of Du Quoin's water distribution status was still critical, as of 10 a.m. on Friday, May 18. Customer water usage exceeded their ability to maintain useable levels. The city's water supply was the size of a residential swimming pool. City crews continued to fill the reserve tank with new water sources provided by and from the cities of Pinckneyville and Tamaroa water supplies.

Du Quoin declared a "state of disaster" at the recommendation of Emergency Management Coordinator Doug Clark.

Pinckneyville Community High School students living in the parts of the district impacted by the water shortage problems were able to use the locker room shower facilities school on Friday, May 18 if needed. 

The City of Du Quoin is no longer under a boil order as of Monday, May 21.

The city of Du Quoin issued a burn ban on all open burning until further notice. The ban includes the Village of St. Johns and rural residents receiving fire protection from the city fire department. The ban will be lifted once water issues are resolved.

Williamson County

As of 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, Carterville's water system level is almost back to normal.

State Representative David Severin secured a donation of 22 pallets of bottled water from CVS Health. Each of the 22 pallets contains 84 cases of bottled water. The water was delivered Saturday, May 19 to John A. Logan College and Johnston City High School. 

All restaurants, hotels, bars, and hair salons in Marion were ordered to close at 3 p.m. Thursday but reopened on Friday, May 18 at 4 p.m.

A boil water order for the city of Carterville, Ill. was lifted on Monday, May 21.

The Williamson County Emergency Management Agency WCEMA and the City of Johnston City announce that bottled drinking water was available for distribution to the public at the Johnston City High School. WCEMA has arranged for this water to be delivered to Williamson County through the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Salvation Army. The water was available on the north parking lot of the Johnston City High School (between the building and the football field). Enter the parking lot from Adams Street on the West side of the lot. Volunteers were present to load water into vehicles. 

The Southern Illinois Miners game on Friday was postponed to Saturday due to the ongoing water concerns. You can click here for more information.

The Mayor of Marion, Illinois updated everyone on the "water crisis" on Friday. You can click here to watch or watch below.

The boil water order for Marion, Ill. was lifted on Monday, May 21.

The Big Muddy and Egyptian Districts of the Boy Scouts of America organized a bottled water drive. They asked that donations of sealed bottled water please be delivered to the Herrin Service Center.

A boil water order for all Herrin water customers was lifted on May 21. 

The Johnston City City Hall has a limited amount of bottled water that can go to the elderly or infants in need of water.

Johnston City police asked residents not to wash clothes, dishes or use extra water in any way. Officials said they were hoping to conserve water for emergency use. Classes at K-8 schools dismissed at 1:50 p.m. and the high school dismissed at 2 p.m.

The city of Marion, Illinois issued a burn ban until further notice.

The Carterville Fire Department issued a burn ban until further notice due to the main line water break.

Copyright 2018 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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