Heavy rain prompted a sewer backup Thursday that’s forced the shutdown of Ottumwa’s water plant — and much of the town. Ottumwa residents can expect their tap water supplies to run out at any time now, though officials say the water supply, in pipes and storage, was not breached by contamination. A boil order has been issued as a precaution.
Tap water needs to be boiled for two minutes and allowed to cool before using. Residents are urged to conserve as much water as possible. Ottumwa restaurants are being asked not to open today, due to the lack of water for sanitation.
Restaurants that do open will need to be prepared to close because there’s just not enough water. City crews are working to set up portable toilets throughout the community.
Governor Chet Culver has added two more counties to the state disasters list today after hearing from local officials on flood damage. Culver added Wapello and Appanoose Counties to the list, and they join Boone, Humboldt, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Webster, Calhoun, and Cherokee counties.