As projected, Illinois American Water officials lifted a boil order Friday afternoon for direct water customers in St. Clair County and parts of Monroe County.
However, a release from spokeswoman Karen Cotton stated, communities who purchase water “in bulk from Illinois American Water and manage their own distribution systems” are in charge of notifying their customers of their areas’ boil order statuses.
Those resale communities are: Scott Air Force Base, O’Fallon, Fairview Heights, Caseyville, Millstadt, Commonfields of Cahokia Public Water District, Columbia, Waterloo and Concordia Water District.
Scott Air Force Base officials anticipated the community would remain under a boil order through the weekend, according to spokesman Jose Ramirez.
O’Fallon will be under the boil order until at least 5 p.m. Sunday to give the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency time for a further evaluation of the water sample.
“We do not believe there is any contamination in the system, but we are following the safety regulations set by the IEPA,” according to a Facebook post from the City of O’Fallon.
Caseyville announced Friday afternoon that while the original boil order was lifted, a new one was in effect for customers on Twin Drive, Brookside Drive, Spicer Drive, Cove Street and those customers on Main Street within one block north and one block south of the railroad crossing.
Millstadt officials are still collecting water samples and remained on a boil order as of about 1 p.m. Friday.
A Columbia Public Works Department official confirmed the community lifted the boil order at noon Friday.
Waterloo officials confirmed the city was no longer on a boil order at about 1:30 p.m. Friday.
Concordia Water District remained on a boil order Friday afternoon, according to Seth Elliot, a project manager with Heneghan and Associates. He estimated the boil order would be lifted either Saturday or Sunday, after officials flushed the water system and took samples.
As for the Commonfields of Cahokia Public Water District, manager Dennis Traiteur said the area was still on boil order as of Friday afternoon, and he was hopeful the order would be lifted sometime Saturday.
The areas where the boil order was lifted include Belleville, East St. Louis, Centreville, Brooklyn, Fairmont City, Sauget, Shiloh, Washington Park, Alorton, Cahokia, Swansea, Canteen Township, St. Clair Township, Stookey Township and Smithton Township.
Cotton wrote that water was once again meeting federal standards in the areas where the boil order was lifted. However, the company is asking that customers in those areas still work to conserve water while employees “continue to battle frigid temperatures” that are affecting the local water system.
“We simply ask customers to use no more than they need and to use water wisely. If they need to wash their clothes or dishes, they should wait until they have a full load. We thank them for their cooperation as this effort will help ensure we can continue to meet critical demand to homes, businesses and for fire protection,” Karen Cooper, senior manager of field operations and production, said in the release.
The water company has changed its water treatment method until further notice to include “free chlorine,” which is a stronger disinfectant that does not contain ammonia. This treatment was also used in the fall during water main and fire hydrant flushing, according to the release.
“We want to thank our customers for their understanding,” Cooper said in the release. “We also appreciate the support they have shown our teams working in the extreme cold. It’s very encouraging and appreciated. We truly love what we do and serving the good people of these communities.”
The boil order was issued Wednesday after frigid temperatures broke numerous water mains, as Friday marked the 12th day of below-freezing temperatures throughout the area, according to the National Weather Service. The area’s forecast does not call for above-freezing temperatures until Sunday, when a wintery mix of snow, ice and sleet is expected.
The boil order did not include the cities of Mascoutah, Lebanon, Freeburg and Smithton.
At least eight school districts canceled Thursday classes because both the cold temperatures and boil order posed challenges to operating schools.
Belleville 201 high schools were back in session Friday, but both Cahokia 187 and SIUE Head Start were canceled Friday due to the boil order.