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Knox County water main break closes school, makes 48-hour boil order

A water main break in Knox County, Missouri Tuesday night will have customers boiling their water for the next two days. That break prompted a school district to close, and required a water delivery to a nursing home.

Residents said they’re glad they can at least use the water in their bathrooms again now that the water is back on, but for the next 48 hours and until Knox County Water District officials know more, residents will be boiling any water they need to use for food, but it isn’t just those at home feeling the impact.

“Didn’t have any choice but we needed to cancel school because we can’t operate without having water,” said Knox County R-1 Superintendent Andy Turgeon.

Turgeon said they’ve already put up signs on the water fountains in preparation for school reopening Thursday. They’re also stockpiling water bottles for the next two days while the boil order is in effect.

“The county did bring out some water and helped us provide some water and we also called Pepsi and they delivered some water for us so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of water for the students,” said Turgeon.

Knox County Water District manager Gary Mallet said during that 48 hours there’s some work they’ll need to do to make sure the water is safe when everyone can use it again.

“they’ll need to boil the water 3 minutes for drinking,” said Mallet.

Now they’re waiting on a system flush to finish before they’ll need to have the water tested to make sure it’s safe.

“Take back t-samples out of the town to make sure the water is safe to drink, if we get a good flush on it there’s usually no problems,” said Mallett.

He said the testing usually takes around 24 hours, so it won’t extend the boil order time.

Regardless, places like the Knox County Nursing Home and schools will need to deal with the boil order for the time being.

“Everything that we use that has water in it will have to be boiled, the cooks are already aware and making preparations for that […] look forward to getting the students back in school tomorrow,” said Turgeon.

Mallett said if you are having trouble with water pressure, to give them a call at (660) 434-5289.

He said in the future when you hear about a water main break, to call them only if your water pressure is very low so they can use that information to isolate the location of the break.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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