Water main break leaves residents without water; closes schools

2013-01-31T18:00:00Z 2013-02-04T12:04:59Z Water main break leaves residents without water; closes schoolsDeborah Laverty and Lauri Harvey Keagle deborah.laverty@nwi.com., (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 lauri.keagle@nwi.com, (219) 852-4311 nwitimes.com

LAKE STATION | The water problems in Lake Station surfaced for Quinton Bolton first thing Thursday morning after he got out of bed.

"I couldn't flush my toilet," Bolton said.

Bolton's house in the 3400 block of East 20th Place is a short distance from a water main break that occurred around midnight affecting most of the city and eventually closing several schools, officials said.

On Thursday night, Mayor Keith Soderquist said repairs were complete to the broken main and everyone was back on line.

However, he said, there will be a general boil water advisory for Lake Station residents using city water through the weekend as officials await test results.

Soderquist said Bolton, his neighbors, and some businesses off Interstate 80/94, were without water while valves were closed and repairs were under way.

The break impacted all customers served by Lake Station city water. Many reported low pressure in water lines.

As a precaution, Lake Station issued a mandatory three day water boil for residents and businesses who were without water.

The water is safe for bathing and washing dishes at high temperatures or on the sanitize cycle.

The initial break occurred just north of Edison Junior/Senior High School. It forced the closure of that school as well as Bailey Elementary School.

Those schools will reopen today, Soderquist said.

Earlier Thursday, Bolton bought five cases of bottled water.

"This same thing happened about 18 years ago," Bolton said.

City workers Ed Sable, Jerry Cafin and Dwayne Polarek had managed to stop the water spouting from a 6-inch broken water main at the eastern end of East 20th Place.

Sable said workers were trying to determine the entire extent of the problems.

"There could be problems further down the line as well. This is such an old system," he said.

A second water main break, near Huntington Street and Central Avenue, was also discovered and repaired by workers, Soderquist said.

Soderquist said the break at 20th Place is believed to have been caused by the main expanding and contracting with the warm weather earlier this week and sharp drops in temperature Wednesday into Thursday.

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