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Drinking water advisory issued for addresses in northeast Spencer after water main break

Drinking water advisory issued for addresses in northeast Spencer after water main break

Spencer Municipal Utilities is shutting off water Wednesday for addresses in northeast Spencer and has issued a drinking water advisory for those homes while its crews fix a water main break.

Water will be shut off at the affected addresses until the maintenance is finished. An advisory from SMU states the work will be conducted form 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.


Addresses affected are on portions of East 16th Street, Elmwood Drive, East 17th Street, East 18th Street and Ninth Ave. East. See the news release below for a complete list of specific addresses under the drinking water advisory.

The water main break itself occurred on East 17th Street, said Amanda Gloyd, SMU Marketing and Community Relations Manager.

When water service is restored, those addresses will be placed under the drinking water advisory. This is due to the potential of bacterial contamination occurring while the water is shut off.

SMU recommends households in the affected area boil water before drinking or find an alternative water source.

Water should be boiled for one minute and allowed to cool before use. Boiled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth and food preparation until further notice from SMU.

The water may be used for bathing and similar purposes, SMU stated in the advisory.

Users should find an alternative water source if the water is discolored.

The drinking water advisory will be lifted once bacterial samples indicate no contamination. That process will take at least 48 hours.

Anyone with questions is asked to contact SMU at 712-580-5800 or online.

Clarification: SMU has stated the scheduled maintenance as described in the advisory below is in response to a water main break.

SMU advisory: Maintenance notice/drinking water advisory

Spencer Municipal Utilities will be performing maintenance work on the water service which serves this address. This service address will be off from 8:30am to 4:00pm on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. When water service is restored following this scheduled maintenance, this service address will be placed on a DRINKING WATER ADVISORY. At that time, Spencer Municipal Utilities Public Water Supply is recommending to boil the water before using for drinking or to use an alternative source. Due to the potential for bacterial contamination when the water was shut off for a period of time, it is being recommended that the water be boiled before using for drinking or cooking, or that an alternative source be used.

It is recommended not to drink the water without boiling it first

Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, and food preparation (including washing dishes) until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. The water may be used for bathing and similar purposes. If the water is discolored, use an alternative source such as bottled water. For more information, please contact us at:
Spencer Municipal Utilities, Daren Baxter, Operator in Charge
520 2nd Avenue East, Suite 1, Spencer, IA 51301
p: 712.580.5800, f: 712.580.5336, e: Contact Us through our website, www.smunet.net

General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
When water service is restored, there may be air in your water piping and the water may be discolored. It is recommended to run the first water from a faucet that does not have an aerator screen, such as a bathtub or outside faucet. Open the faucet slowly to allow the air to escape. Once the water is flowing, allow the faucet to run until it is clear. The water may be cloudy at first due to air in the water or particles that dislodged as the pipes filled with water. This should clear fairly quickly. If water is cloudy or discolored throughout the house and it does not clear after allowing the water to run for several minutes, use an alternative source such as bottled water and contact the person listed above.

Following the scheduled maintenance, the system will be repaired, repressurized, and bacteria samples will be collected. This advisory is a precaution until bacterial samples are available and indicate no bacterial contamination which will take at least 48 hours. You will be notified when the results are available and the advisory is cancelled.

SMU is working with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to resolve the situation.

This notice is being sent to you by the Spencer Municipal Utilities Public Water Supply.

Date distributed: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The boil order advisory area is limited to:

  • 503, 511, 519, 527, 603, 611, 619,705, 711, 717, 723, 801, 813, 819  East 16th Street
  • 503, 504, 511, 512, 519, 520, 527, 528, 603, 604, 611, 612, 619, 620, 704, 705, 712, 713, 720, 721, 805, 806, 811, 812, 820, 821, 902 Elmwood Drive
  • 503, 504, 511, 512, 519, 520, 527, 528, 603, 604, 611, 612, 619, 620, 704, 705, 712, 714, 721, 722, 805, 806, 812, 813, 821, 822 East 17th Street
  • 502, 512, 520, 528, 604, 612, 620, 701, 704, 712, 720, 721, 804, 809, 812, 820, 821, 900, 905, 906 East 18th Street
  • 1602, 1614, 1704, 1708, 1724 9th Avenue East

All SMU water customers who are not in the advisory area do not need to be concerned with the safety of the water despite the possible discoloration. Due to fixing the water main break and additional flushing during the process, discoloration may occur for some customers.


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