Main breaks force Manson to boil water

MANSON – Water was shut off for the city of Manson Thursday as crews worked to repair three water main breaks.

Manson Northwest Webster closed school at noon Thursday due to the lack of water.

The town’s water service was still shut off at press time, but the city hoped to restore service by midnight Thursday, according to Manson resident Kym Sutter.

Because the system lost pressure, a boil advisory has been issued. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice or brushing teeth and food preparation until further notice.

One main break occurred Wednesday night at the north end of town in the Fairgrounds Park, said Julie Sievers, environmental specialist senior with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The other two main breaks were in the residential area west of the former elementary school. Sievers said those two breaks were not reported to the city until Thursday morning.

Sutter, who lives at 1330 13th Ave., said a water line in front of her house broke Wednesday night.

According to Sievers, one water line was repaired before 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Two crews were at work on the other water main breaks.

Repairing the break at the fairground park was proving to be a challenge, she said.

“It’s a matter of getting through the frost, getting the actual break located,” she said. “When we have this amount of frost the water tends to move laterally underground, along the pipe, and comes up where there’s an area it can get to the surface. It’s very much a challenge, because where you see water coming up is not where the break is at.”

The DNR is seeing water main breaks all over the area due to the depth of the frost and lack of precipitation, Sievers said,

“Snow acts as insulation, and keeps frost from going as deep,” she said.

The city of Manson recommends that it users boil town tap water thoroughly before it is used, either for drinking or cooking, due to the potential for bacterial contamination.

Another solution would be to use water from an alternative source until the city can flush the system and test the water for contamination.

The water that will be distributed is raw well water until further notice, the city said in a press release Thursday afternoon. That means it will contain higher levels of fluoride than usual.

The city will update residents regarding the water situation through the media or the CodeRED emergency notification system.