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Boil water order to last 2-3 days after water main break

Posted at 9:26 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 17:34:54-04

Water should be back on this morning, but thousands are being asked to boil any water for the next 2-3 days being used for drinking, brushing teeth, or washing dishes before use.

That includes families in parts of the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, Lancaster, Newstead and Villages of Williamsville, Lancaster and Depew. See a full list of safety measures here.

Around midnight Wednesday night, crews had identified the water main break and capped it off. The break was centered at the National Grid site on Frankhauser Road near between the Sheridan Drive and Millersport Highway exits of I-290.

Earl Jann, the commissioner of the Erie County Water Authority, told 7 Eyewitness news that old pipes were partially to blame for the water main break. "It's a matter of old infrastructure," he said. "We have a lot of old pipes in our system. Gradually, we've come a long way with a pretty aggressive plan to repair a lot of this old pipe. But it takes time, it's very expensive, and it takes time to make those kind of repairs."

Jann says that they've had other breaks in the past, but crews were able to isolate those breaks much quicker because they were found faster.

The Erie County Water Authority is currently testing water quality throughout the affected area. This will take several days and test results will be submitted to Erie County Department of Health.

That process will determine when the boil water advisory can be lifted. Health officials say it's likely that you will need to boil water for the next 2-3 days, and that you will be informed when tests show that you no longer need to boil your water.

According to the Erie County Health Department, when water mains lose pressure it increases the chance that untreated water and harmful microbes can enter your water.

Harmful microbes in drinking water can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms and may pose a special health risk for infants, some elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you should seek medical advice.