Officials: Parts of Iowa City under boil advisory

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Parts of Iowa City are under a boil advisory as officials determine whether a water main break caused possible contamination of the water supply.

The water main burst late Wednesday, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported (http://icp-c.com/1jRg0gp ). Iowa City Communications Coordinator Shannon McMahon said the main was repaired by Thursday morning and all services were restored.

Still, a precautionary boil advisory was issued Thursday morning as the water is tested and confirmed to meet regulatory standards. That testing process could take a few days to complete.

“We have not found any bacteria or contamination,” McMahon said. “We just like to err on the side of being conservative with this and just want to make sure everything is safe. We have no reason, though, to believe that there’s any contamination.”

The advisory marks the first time Iowa City has issued a boil advisory because of a water main break. It affects residents in west Iowa City and University Heights. They’ve been advised to boil their tap water or use bottled water. Tap water can be used for bathing and other similar purposes.

Doug Beardsley, director of Johnson County Public Health, said if bacteria contamination is found during water testing, the state Department of Natural Resources will issue a boil order.

“We always want to err on the side of caution to avoid any kind of outbreaks or illness at all,” he said.

The newspaper reported that the University of Iowa, UI Hospitals and Clinics and Veteran’s Administration Hospital are not included in the boil advisory because they have independent water systems in place.

Kevin Slutts, Iowa City assistant water superintendent, said nearly 780,000 gallons of water were lost from the break Wednesday.

“It was a big break. We lost a lot of water, and it created quite a mess,” he said. “That’s what we do when we get a break. We don’t leave it - we stay there until we get it done. It took a crew all night to get it done.”

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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