SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Some residents of Saint Paul had to start boiling their water Saturday after a water main broke under Wall Street between 5th and 6th Street East.
City officials said it broke around midnight, spilling more than 1.75 million gallons of water into the streets, sewers and river. There were no reports of homes or businesses flooding.
Jim Bode, of Saint Paul Regional Water Services said the cause was simply that the water main was old so it cracked due to fatigue.
It was a significant break. Crews working to repair it said it was a split on the 20 inch pipe.
While they worked to repair it, two blocks of Wall Street, between 5th and 7th, were completely without water. Bode expected repairs to be completed and those residents and business to have water again by Saturday evening.
Still they will have to boil it.
About 8,000 residents and businesses in downtown Saint Paul itself, the West 7th neighborhood and the lower west side were told to boil water before they drink it, at least until Sunday morning.
The city is now conducting water quality tests but those results won't be available until 6 am Sunday.
The city will then tell residents if they need to continue boiling or if the water is safe.
Trish Gabriel lives just a block from the break. She said, "I'm a huge water drinker. I'm a big runner so I drink a ton of water every day." Showing a bottle of water that was half full she continued, "So for me I have this much water until I go get to the grocery store. So it's been kind of an issue."
Gabriel had to decide whether to have friends over for dinner tonight but she said the party would likely go on.
The city told residents the water is safe to drink and cook with after boiling it for three minutes.
But it suggests using bottled water for brushing teeth, making ice or food preparation like washing fruits and veggies.
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