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Water Main Break in Emporia Prompts Widespread Advisories

Van L. Johnson
Kansas Public Radio

A water main break overnight caused most of the city of Emporia to lose water service for several hours Thursday. The break has been repaired, but it will take time for the entire water system to be fully restored.

The loss of pressure also created a contamination hazard. Tap water must be boiled for at least one minute before being used for drinking or food preparation.

Matt Keith, with the Department of Health and Environment, says the boil water advisory affects more than just the city of Emporia.

“While the line break occurred in Emporia, there are lots of surrounding water systems that purchase water from the city of Emporia. There are now 12 public water supply systems in Lyon and Coffey County that are impacted,” Keith says.

Keith says workers will be testing the water supply for contamination before lifting the boil water advisory, which could last for several days.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says the water systems in Lyon and Coffey counties currently under a boil water advisory include:

  • City of Admire, Lyon County
  • City of Allen, Lyon County
  • Coffey County Rural Water District 2E, Coffey County
  • City of Emporia, Lyon County
  • City of Hartford, Lyon County
  • Lyon County Rural Water District 1, Lyon County
  • Lyon County Rural Water District 2, Lyon County
  • Lyon County Rural Water District 3, Lyon County
  • Lyon County Rural Water District 4, Lyon County
  • Lyon County Rural Water District 5, Lyon County
  • City of Olpe, Lyon County
  • Park Place Communities Management, Lyon County

KDHE says customers should take the following precautions until further notice:

  • Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation, or use bottled water
  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker
  • Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water
  • Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled
  • Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians
  • If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears
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