Illinois American Water Company notified customers on Friday afternoon that its boil-water order was lifted for the Belleville area, Millstadt, Columbia, Shiloh, Swansea and Waterloo.
The boil order remained in effect for only about 100 customers near the site of where a major water line broke the day before.
The boil order was issued after a water line broke sometime before 7 a.m. Thursday near Illinois 161 and Patricia Lane in Belleville. It was repaired by 1:30 a.m. Friday, the company said. Crews had replaced about 18 feet of the water main.
As of Friday afternoon, engineers working for Illinois American Water had not yet determined what caused the 24-inch water line to break, but the company said “aging infrastructure” might have had something to do with it.
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American Water spokeswoman Karen Cotton said the company’s engineering team would look at the distribution system, which was described as being “several decades old.”
“It's difficult to pinpoint the cause. It could be a number of things that contributed to it,” Cotton said. “We think it might have been due to aging infrastructure.”
Nearly a year ago, a similar major water line break happened two miles away at Illinois 161 and Dutch Hollow Road in Belleville, though the company said that break was caused by a vehicle hitting a fire hydrant.
The water main break on Thursday affected about 30,000 customers in homes and businesses in an area that has a population of about 75,000.
The company issued a boil-water order shortly after 7 a.m. Thursday for Belleville, Swansea and Shiloh, and it was later extended to customers in Millstadt, Columbia, Waterloo.
During the early-morning hours Thursday, Cotton said, water pressure had been holding up above 20 pounds per square inch; however, the company decided to issue the boil order when it saw that water pressure was dropping further.
Crews isolated the break and were able to restore water pressure for some customers later Thursday morning, though the company said about 100 customers living in the area closest to the break were without water service until about 1:30 a.m. Friday when it was repaired. That 100-customer area included all of Dutch Hollow Village, a news release said.