CLINTON — A precautionary boil order is still in effect for the entire city of Clinton after a large-scale water main break was detected Monday near the 1400 block of 13th Avenue South.
Lisa Reisen, an external affairs manager for Iowa American Water who has been with the company for 34 years, said the water main break is "not a normal situation for us."
The 16-inch water main break and the resulting quick loss of water caused Iowa American Water to issue the city-wide advisory as a precaution for its customers. Normally, according to Reisen, a water main break affects fewer people.
"It's in their best interest," Reisen said of the boil order. "When anything like that happens, like a loss of pressure… (it's) the right thing to do and what we need to do is make sure our customers are safe and safe guarded."
Brandy Leibert, who said the break was "right next door" to her home, lives at 1329 13th Ave. South. Her yard happened to be the "path of least resistance" to lead water to a creek, she told the Herald on Tuesday. Even though she asked that the pumps be placed elsewhere, her yard is now 3/4 full of water as the pumps leading water from her land to another water source have stopped working.
"It's just all going in the yard," she said.
She has made a call to Iowa American Water, but as of Tuesday afternoon the problem had not been eradicated.
Leibert has two mastiffs that she is afraid to let out because she is fearful they will be injured. She is also afraid water will start backing up into her basement. Her basement has been flooded before and she lost furnaces, appliances and other belongings.
"Where is all this water going," she wondered.
"I am glad they're working and doing everything they can, but it's all going into my yard and being left," she said.
While the break was repaired around 10 p.m. Monday, the cause may be hard to determine. Due the break's size, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is requiring two rounds of extensive water quality testing throughout the Clinton community.
Anne Lynam, with water quality operations in the DNR Water Quality Bureau, said the samples measure for total coliform bacteria and E. coli.
A main break and depressurization guide, provided by the DNR in relation to public drinking water, states that the loss of positive pressure could allow the disease-causing microorganisms to enter the water system. These organisms can come from soil or groundwater.
At 2 p.m. Tuesday, 16 hours after the first test, sample sites were again tested throughout the city, with officials awaiting the results.
"Once we see the tests, and they're good and customers can resume (usage) we will reach out," Reisen said.