Main Campus, River Campus Under Boil Water Order Due to Water Main Break

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 4, 2008 — Due to a water main break this morning, the City of Cape Girardeau has issued a precautionary boil water order that affects a large part of the city including the University’s main campus and River Campus. While water service has been restored to most of the affected area, the city recommends that water be boiled vigorously for three minutes prior to use, particularly in buildings which experienced a drop in water pressure as a result of the break. The order is in effect until 5 p.m. Sunday unless otherwise notified. Below is information on the boil water order as issued by the City of Cape Girardeau.

Late this morning a 12-inch main collapsed due to bank erosion from recent heavy rains. The main was leaking thousands of gallons per minute directly into an already rain swollen creek and could not be immediately located. This is a major arterial north/south main in the city’s grid.   The area affected is being defined as all areas East of Kingshighway and South of Bertling, South and East of Cape Rock Drive to the Southern City Limits. Due to the size of the impacted areas and the calls we were getting we felt it was prudent to define this area broadly. We are required to issue the precautionary order to those areas that fell below 20 pounds per square inch of pressure (psi).  Crews have isolated the main which restored service to all but a small area on West End Blvd and are working to stabilize the bank and replace that section of the main.  Due to the break, West End Blvd will be closed from Rt. 74 and Linden while repairs are being made.

According to Alliance Water Division Manager, Kevin Priester, a precautionary boil water order has been issued to those residents in the area defined above. The boil water notice has been issued beginning immediately and will continue until 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 6, unless otherwise notified. Samples will be collected and taken to Environmental Analysis South as soon as pressure is restored.

Additionally, according to Charlotte Craig, Cape Girardeau County Health Department, there are several restaurants that were also in the area of the water leak.  They are being asked to contact the Health Department for further instructions.  Anyone with specific questions relating to the safety of the water or other health-related issues as a result of this outage should contact the Health Department at (573) 335-7846.

The following precautions should be observed by affected residents: boil water vigorously for three minutes prior to use (let water cool sufficiently before drinking); use only boiled water for drinking, brushing teeth, diluting fruit juices, and all other food preparations or consumption; dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic ice maker; remake ice cubes with water that has been boiled; disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for a least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water. If you need to shut power off to appliances that use water during this time, please do so in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled; supervision of children is necessary while bathing so water is not ingested; persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you,” said Priester. “If you have questions, please call the Water Division at (573) 651-6280.”