Water Main Break Disrupts Water Service For Southern Illinois’ Rend Lake District

A water tower for the Rend Lake Conservancy District.

A water tower for the Rend Lake Conservancy District.

Rend Lake Conservancy District

A broken water main in southern Illinois has left several cities in the Rend Lake Water Conservancy District short of water, forcing the closing of schools and businesses.

Officials say a breach in a 36-inch water distribution line at the Rend Lake Conservancy water plant near Benton is the reason for the loss of water service to more than 175,000 people. The district provides water to all or part of seven southern Illinois counties, using Rend Lake, the second-largest man-made lake in Illinois.

Rend Lake Conservancy official Larry Sanders says workers tried throughout the night to patch the pipe, but failed. He says they are now trying to create a bypass for one of three high-service pumps what will restore some water into the system. But officials say that will provide only a fraction of the normal amount of water.

Meanwhile, officials in several cities instituted measures Thursday to conserve water.

The city of Marion ordered the Thursday afternoon closing of all hotels, restaurants, hair salons, bakeries and bars.

Carterville ran out of water, forcing the closure of its schools and the SIH Cancer Insitute in town. 

Hospitals in Benton and Mount Vernon announced service restrictions or emergency operations because of the water main break.

Story source: WILL