File photo by Engin Akyurt/Unsplash

WILLIAMS BAY — Following a loss of water pressure afte a water main break Friday morning in Williams Bay, the village was advising residents to boil their water or drink bottled water.

As a precaution, the DNR has recommended that residents do not drink the water until lab testing is completed to confirm that it is safe. It could be a day before the village receives the results of the lab tests.

What precautions should be taken at this time? It is recommended that you boil the tap water, or use store-bought bottled water for drinking, food preparation, and making ice.

If you boil water, the water should reach a rolling boil for just one minute, then cool. Ice should be purchased or made from boiled or bottled water. Any old ice, food, and beverages prepared since the loss of pressure should be discarded as a precaution.

The water is OK for every other purpose including flushing toilets, washing, and showering except not for infants, immune-compromised individuals or persons with open sores or wounds.

Dishes may be washed only if thoroughly dried or if a high temperature automatic dishwasher is used; or if a capful of chlorine is added to the rinse water.

Is the water unsafe? The water is probably OK but the village doesn’t know for sure.

When buried water pipes lose pressure there is a chance that bacteria or other contaminants can enter the pipes.

These contaminants are normally flushed-out when water flow resumes.

Yet as a precaution the village is required to test the water before they assume it is safe. No actual unsafe samples have been found at this point.

What is being done to correct the problem? Water has been restored and several water samples are being collected today. Residents may go-ahead and use the water for all other purposes and the flushing will help.

When can residents drink the water again? Water samples will be collected and it will take a minimum of 24 hours after the samples are collected for results to be known and for this advisory to be lifted.

THIS ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. This precautionary advisory is required by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources pursuant to Wisconsin Administrative Code section NR810.12.

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak launched Walworth County Community News in 2021. He is the former editor of The Week and Walworth County Sunday.