PITTSFIELD, Maine — Crews worked through the night and into Thursday to fix three pipes, one along Main Street, that broke Wednesday evening, causing everyone in town to lose water.
Town leaders told residents to boil their water until further notice.
“It’s mandatory,” Town Manager Kathryn Ruth said Thursday afternoon. “People should, before drinking, making ice cubes, washing food or brushing teeth, boil all water for at least five minutes.”
The 10-inch water main down Main Street broke first, causing water to gush up to street level. The pressure then caused two other smaller lines to break at a crossing just down the street, Ruth said.
“One break hasn’t been fixed yet,” she said, adding that once the final pipe is repaired, testing will need to be done to ensure the water is safe for consumption before the boil-water order is removed.
“We’re being extra cautious,” Ruth said.
The boil-water order is expected to last at least two days. Until then, residents should drink only bottled or boiled water, Ruth said.
“Because there were several breaks, [the boil order] will last longer than the typical 24 hours,” she said. “We will test the water and announce when the boiled-water order is taken off” and the water is safe to drink.
The town’s water was turned off Wednesday evening, the Main Street pipe was replaced, and by noon Thursday most of the town had running water again, Ruth said.
Students at Maine Central Institute got Thursday off from school because of the loss of water in town, but most businesses remained open, she said.
Water from the town’s reserve tank, the Phillips Corner tank, was being used Thursday while work was done to reconnect the Grove Hill Tank, which supplies the downtown, Ruth said.
Additional work will need to be done at the crossing, where the smaller breaks occurred, to prevent further breaks, Ruth said.
People who have questions about their water may call the water department at 487-5203, town hall at 487-3136 or the state drinking water program at 287-2070.