The City of Grinnell issued a boil water order this morning for all of the community’s 9,000 plus residents, according to Water Department director Jordan Altenhofen.

“Last night, we had a catastrophic failure, a big main break on a 12-inch pipe,” Altenhofen says. “The water tower is offline for routine maintenance which is why this had a very large impact. In short, we are still working on the repair. We are not done.”

Altenhofen says a city crew is working feverishly to get the break fixed and complete repairs. “I’m hoping to have them wrapped up today but to get this done, there’s one key piece I’m trying to get my hands on,” he says. “Basically, we have one in stock that we use but it’s with a odd manufacturer, so it really didn’t work that well. I’m working on getting my hands on a better repair sleeve to go there.”

Once those repairs are complete, Altenhofen says the boil order will still be in effect for a minimum of 48 hours. “Once we’re back up and running safely, I take one round of bacteria samples, I have to do six bacteria tests across our system. I have to send those to a state-certified lab,” he says. “They take 24 hours to essentially process and then, knock on wood, they all clear, I have to do a second round just to be safe, to prove it.”

Water for consumption needs to be boiled for at least one minute, or he suggests using an alternative like bottled water.

(By Timothy Dill, KGRN, Grinnell)