Carterville under boil order until Friday - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Carterville under boil order until Friday

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CARTERVILLE, Ill. -- Carterville residents are under a boil-water order until 11:30 a.m. Friday. The issue stems from Wednesday's power outage and cold temperatures, which caused pipes and valves to freeze. 

Many residents like Hillary Hedstrom were initially confused as to what was going on. She started her morning as usual, waking up at 2 a.m. to deliver newspapers. By the time she got back four hours later, Hedstrom realized her home was without power. 

Then she took her boyfriend to work, and her kids with her to stay warm since the house's temperature began to quickly drop. But, when they returned, there was another problem. "I went to go shower and do the dishes, and the water was kind of trickling out," she explains.

Hedstrom looked for signs of a broken or frozen water pipe, and found no indications of either issue. She ultimately realized it was a city-wide issue on Facebook, "The Intermediate school, I seen they didn't have any water. Cottonwood didn't have any water either."

Mayor Brad Robinson says city crews took steps to override the power outage, bringing in back-up power to pump water from the ground storage facility to the water tank around 7 a.m. Wednesday. However, cool temperatures caused an additional issue for pumps and valves running to the water tank.

"They froze in a position that said the water tower was full," Robinson explains. "So we could not pump to it because the valving and the gauging was telling our pumps ‘I don’t need anymore water’ when in fact it was empty."

Crews had to manually thaw the pipes and valves, restoring water around 11:30 a.m. 

Hedsrom says a boil order is an inconvenience for her as a mom of a 3 year old, but she's thankful she bought bottled water ahead of time, "He’ll go in there and grab a cup and drink it. I”ll have just have to keep an eye on him."  

Carterville Mayor Bradley Robinson says the city's Water and Sewer board will meet on February 7. At that time, they plan to take up whether to install permanent back-up power at the pump station. Those opposed, fear it could cause problems to pump water when there's no power to the sewer lift station. Supporters say it would only be used on short-term basis and would unlikely cause sewer issues.

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