Water main break closes four Illinois school districts; boil order in effect

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) - Four Illinois school districts are closed due to a water main break. A boil order is in effect.

The incident happened early Thursday along Old Caseyville Road and Highway 161. The 24-inch break prompted Illinois American Water to issue a boil order for Belleville, Swansea, Millstadt, Columbia, Waterloo and Shiloh residents.

The water shortage also forced the Belleville School District, Whiteside School District, Harmoney Emge District and High Mount District to cancel classes today.

Memorial Hospital is under emergency operation procedures. All surgeries have been cancelled today and are being assessed. Some surgeries may be moved to the new Memorial Hospital in Shiloh. Bottled water is being served.

The order was issued in accordance with Illinois Environmental Protection Agency regulations. When water pressure drops below 20 pounds per square inch in any part of a community’s distribution system, a boil water order must be issued as a precaution to protect customers.

Last February, a 24-inch transmission main broke in the Dutch Hollow neighborhood of Belleville, causing a spike in water pressure. The same residents were asked to bring their water to a rolling boil for five full minutes before using that water for drinking or cooking.

Illinois American Water says the water can be used for bathing, washing, and other common uses.

Although water is expected to be restored by Thursday night, the order may be in effect for the next 36 to 48 hours.

To protect citizens’ health, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) since 1974 has set national safety standards for drinking water. While the USEPA and state governments set and enforce standards, water suppliers – whether public or private – have a direct responsibility for the quality of the water that flows from your tap.

To learn more visit: https://amwater.com/ilaw/

Map of area under a boil order: