Water Woes: 20,000 AR Residents Under Boil Order

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SOUTH LEAD HILL, Ar. – An important link in a local water system is under repair and some 20-thousand Arkansas residents are being asked to conserve water.

Customers with the Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority, which covers parts of Boone and Marion Counties and all of Newton and Searcy Counties, need to keep water use to a minimum through at least Wednesday night.

A 20-inch water main running into a pump station near South Lead Hill has burst twice since Sunday.

“That [pipe] is the only way to get water into that [water tower] — is with a booster,” says OMRPWA chairman, Andy Anderson, “because it won’t gravity feed.”

The water tower Anderson is referring to sits on of the highest points in Boone County. From there, water feeds down to customers in parts of southern Boone, Newton and Searcy Counties – more than 90-percent of the customers in the system.

“As far as I know, right now, everybody still has water — what’s left in their [local] tanks,” he says.

Crews were able to repair the second break by five o’clock Wednesday evening, but Anderson says it will still take several hours for water to be running through the system like normal.

Anderson estimates total cost of the repairs to be in the neighborhood of $30,000. He also has a theory on what may have started the headache in the water system.

“We had a minor leak and then something happened,” he says, “we know something happened to cause it to become a major leak.”

“[The break] happened on Sunday. Of course, the earthquake happened on Sunday,” Anderson says, “maybe a coincidence, maybe related.”

OMRPWA customers south of South Lead Hill should consider themselves under a boil order starting late Wednesday night.

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