Water service for O’Fallon and Fairview Heights has been restored, but a boil order remains in effect after the water was temporarily shut off Sunday evening to make emergency repairs to a water main.
O’Fallon’s water was shut off at 5 p.m. Sunday after a water main break occurred at 4 a.m. Sunday morning at the intersection of Highway 50 and Mark Drive. O’Fallon schools were closed Monday, according to a Facebook announcement sent to parents in the area, but Fairview Height schools were open.
O’Fallon Police Department announced Monday morning that service had been restored, but warned water customers to boil their water until notified otherwise.
“A boil order is now in effect for the entire O’Fallon water system,” the police department announced in an early-morning Facebook Post. “During boil water advisories or boil water orders, you should boil all water used for drinking, preparing food, beverages, ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, or brushing teeth.
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“Water should be placed in a heat-resistant container or in an electric kettle and brought to a rolling boil for 1 minute to kill all disease-causing organisms.”
Jeff Taylor, O’Fallon’s director of public works, said the water will be turned back on after the repair is made, but they aren’t sure how long that will take.
He also said they don’t know at this time what caused the break.
“We have to wait until we’ve fixed the system to see how long the boil order will be in place,” Taylor said. He added that they aren’t sure yet exactly what areas will be under a boil order and it depends on how quickly pressure returns to the water main system.
“The crews were dispatched outside where the break was occurring,” Taylor said. “They isolated the lines and started excavation of the roadway where the road had to be removed.”
He said crews had been working since 5 a.m.
Taylor estimated upwards of 40,000 people have had their water shut off due to the break.
Police said water could also be boiled in a microwave, but special precautions must be taken.
“Water can also be boiled in a microwave oven using a microwave-safe container,” police said, “but it is advisable to include a glass rod or wooden or plastic stir stick in the container to prevent the formation of superheated water (water heated above its boiling point, without the formation of steam). The water should then be cooled and poured into a clean container or refrigerated until you are ready to use it.”