WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - A boil water advisory is expected to remain in effect through at least Saturday for the city of Wichita and many surrounding communities after a major water main break.

Late Thursday night, the city announced it was working with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to get water testing results back before a decision can be made on whether to lift or keep the boil water advisory in place. The tests are to make sure no bacteria is in the system. 

The advisory affects Wichita's water and the following water systems:

  • Andover
  • Sedgwick Co RWD 1
  • Sedgwick Co RWD 2
  • Sedgwick Co RWD 3
  • City of Benton
  • El Paso Water Co. (City of Derby)
  • City of Rose Hill
  • City of Kechi
  • City of Valley Center

The cities of Sedgwick and Bel Aire are not included.

Wichita resident Earl Lipsey lives just feet away from a massive water main that burst in the north side of town Thursday afternoon.

When his neighbor came over to tell him what was happening, he couldn't believe what he saw.

"When I came out, everything was wet," said Lipsey.

Being the same year his sister's house was totaled in a flood, Lipsey was grateful the water didn't continue to rise.

"To be actually in it it's a different thing. And I'm glad nobody got hurt anything," said Lipsey.

But that's only the start of the problem.

Public Works Director Alan King said there was a short power outage, causing all of the city's water pumps to shut down.

When they turned back on, he thinks there may have been a surge in water pressure that blew one of the main, 42 inch pipes, and that led to a city-wide boil advisory for the first time since the '90s.

"Anytime that you have low pressure or no pressure, there's the potential that the groundwater, because the waters around the pipe, the groundwater could leak into the pipe," said King.

King said the city will work around the clock until the system is fixed but isn't sure yet how long it will take.

In the meantime, Lipsey said he's glad to still have running water, but he's not going to take any chances.

"Cook your water, don't just warm it. Cook it, if you have to. Get it as hot as you can. Then when it comes off, cools down, drink it, cook with it whatever you need to do," said Lipsey.

The boil advisory is as follows:

  • 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.

Previous story: 

A boil water order has been issued for the city of Wichita and some surrounding communities following a major main break and loss of pressure Thursday afternoon.

The advisory affects both Wichita's water and the following water systems:

  • Andover
  • Sedgwick Co RWD 1
  • Sedgwick Co RWD 2
  • Sedgwick Co RWD 3
  • City of Benton
  • El Paso Water Co. (City of Derby)
  • City of Rose Hill
  • City of Kechi
  • City of Valley Center

 Customers should:

  • Boil water for up to one minute prior to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water
  • Do not use ice from an automatic ice maker
  • Disinfect dishes in clean tap water than includes one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon

Water used for bathing does not need to be boiled, but children should be monitored so that water is not ingested. Those with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians. 

Public Works Director Alan King said power was interrupted at the water treatment plant and when they started equipment back up, there was a loss of pressure, which is associated with a main break near I-135 and 17th Street North. 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment advised the city to issue a boil order. It will be in place until the issues that placed the system at risk of bacterial infection are resolved.


A major water main break is creating water pressure problems across the city.

KAKE News has taken phone calls from viewers across the city who are reporting water pressure problems.  The City of Wichita sent out this tweet this afternoon.

The leak appears to be near 17th Street and I-135.  The city has scheduled a 3:30 p.m. news conference.  KAKE News will have a crew at the news conference and we will have more information as soon as it is available.

 
User: KAKE News To: link