Bluffs Boil Advisory could expire at Noon today (Thursday)


January 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Boil Advisory for the City Council Bluffs will run until at least Noon today (Thursday), according to a Water Works official. The advisory was put into effect for Council Bluffs and a handful of communities which are served by its water system, early Wednesday morning, following break in a 24-inch water main on the City’s east side. Water Works Director Doug Drummey told the Council Bluffs Daily NonPareil, that water samples taken from the system will be checked at the plant’s laboratory for any dangerous pathogens or disease-carrying organisms.

The water main break created a huge hole, which officials estimated was about 50 feet wide. Drummey said anywhere from 2 to 3 million gallons of water poured out of the system in the hour immediately following the incident. He told the newspaper it was the biggest main break he has seen in his career.

And, while the incident happened on the City’s east side, at 9th Street and Avenue E., residents throughout the west end of the city lost water pressure. Crews were able to isolate the pipe by 4 a.m. and water service was returned to normal pressure by late in the day Wednesday. However, because of the drop in water pressure, Drummey said it was possible that pathogens or disease-carrying organisms could have seeped into the water system. Because of this possibility, the city has advised residents to not drink water or use it during food preparation.

If using water for either purpose, it needs to be boiled first. Let it come to a full boil and remain that way for at least one-minute before cooling (if used as drinking water or brushing your teeth). Health officials say that because it s flu season, people should continue to wash their hands and dry them completely. If you are unable to pre-boil hand wash water, wash hands as usual with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, dry hands, and follow with use of a hand sanitizer.

Restaurants and convenience stores in Council Bluffs that use city water for cooking or for coffee, pop and ice machines have been told not to use the water in their operations. Once the boiling advisory is lifted, equipment will need to be cleaned. The city website, at, has instructions for cleaning commercial ice makers to tips for commercial establishments after the ban is lifted. The city has left it up to individual restaurants to make the decision about remaining open. Anyone with questions about the water advisory is asked to call (712) 328-4672.