Murky Water, Boil Order Sparks Confusion For Champaign Residents

The Illinois American Water plant in Urbana.

The Illinois American Water Treatment Plant in Urbana awaits decommissioning.

Jim Meadows/ Illinois Public Media

There was confusion in Champaign Tuesday, as several residents wondered whether or not they were affected by a water boil order.

Illinois American Water said in a statement that they had sent boil orders to 20 customers on the 1300 block of Hedge Road and 13 customers on the 600 and 700 blocks of West University Avenue.

But some residents outside those areas reported murky water coming out of their faucets. Others say they couldn’t get a straight answer from Illinois American Water about whether or not they were affected by the boil order.

Champaign resident James Manrique said he called the company to check if he was affected.

“The representative on the phone wasn’t able to tell me if my address was covered,” he said. “To me, that was just really weird that Illinois American Water has the info somewhere in their system as to who it affects, but the (representative) wasn’t able to tell.”

Terry Mackin, director of communications and external affairs for Illinois American Water, said customers impacted by boil orders or emergency situations are always notified by the company either by phone or door hanger.

If the incident affects only a small number of customers, Mackin said those people can be notified door-to-door by Illinois American Water employees, and a door hanger notification is left behind if no one answers.

In situations where a large number of customers are affected, he said, those individuals are notified by phone. He said customers can also sign up to be notified by text or email.

In a statement, the company said boil orders are issued for areas where water pressure drops below 20 pounds per square inch. If you're under a boil water notice, they advise bringing water to a rolling boil for five minutes before drinking or using it to cook. The water is OK for bathing and washing, the company said. 

Story source: WILL