Update: The city of Minneapolis has lifted its boil water advisory for water customers impacted by a large water main break in North Minneapolis. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the water is now safe to use for all activities of daily living.
The city of Minneapolis issued a boil water advisory for residents in the Hawthorne neighborhood after a stormwater pipe burst Monday night. The advisory is for residences and businesses on 3rd and 4th Street N. between Lowry Ave. N. and 26th Ave. N.
Water service was shut off from 2nd St. N. to the Mississippi while repairs were conducted. Approximately 80 residences and one public housing project were affected.
“Based on the elevations in the area and the hydraulics of the system we have no reason to believe that contamination has entered [the system], especially in these specific locations,” Water Treatment and Distribution Director Annika Bankston said. “But following standard procedures and out of an abundance of caution we did decide to issue that boil water order.”
Bankston said contamination would happen from differing pressures allowing groundwater to potentially seep into the system of pipes that supplies Minneapolis’s water, but stressed that no contamination is currently known.
Public Works Director Margaret Anderson Kelliher said residents in the affected area should boil water for drinking, cooking, or brushing their teeth for three full minutes before use.
The CDC recommends boiling water even if the water is clear or filtered. Water does not need to be boiled for handwashing or bathing but should not be swallowed.
Minneapolis residents may experience yellow or rust-colored water. Public Works has said this water is safe to drink but has mineral deposits in it.
Residents are recommended to run a faucet at the lowest level of their building until the water is clear, followed by allowing all cold-water faucets to run for a few minutes to clear the minerals out of the system.
Anderson Kelliher said the pipe that broke was a 36” pipe from 1888. “When the pressure fluctuations occur in the distribution system there sometimes can be unforeseen defects and minor weaknesses in a pipe and that can give way after all these years in service,” Anderson Kelliher said.
Public Works does not currently know what caused the break but is evaluating system operating pressures and hoping to learn the cause by examining the pipe after its removal.
The burst pipe left areas around the east side of Interstate 94 flooded. Water Treatment and Distribution Director Annika Bankston said it was too early to give a full timeline for the repair but that she expected it would be done “in fairly short order.”
“The water main itself we’ll be able to fully repair,” Bankston said. “The surface restoration I anticipate will probably be some sort of temporary patching until a full restoration once we assess.”
Water pressure briefly decreased for some residents in downtown Minneapolis due to the burst but has already been fixed. Bankston said this event is unrelated to the recent water main break in the Uptown neighborhood.
Water bottles were available in Fairview Park for affected residents’ water needs throughout the day.