Early morning June 3, the city of Pierre warned residents of a precautionary water alert.
According to Brad Palmer, city utility director, a water main on Henry Street broke around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. Two-block-long S. Henry Street runs from W. Sioux Avenue (the main east/west route through Pierre) southward to W. Missouri Avenue near the river.
“The old cast-iron pipe had been weakened by corrosion caused over time by the corrosive soils — ‘hot’ soils — found in the Pierre area. It’s a fairly common thing,” Palmer said.
The crews replaced a short section of the water main with C900 piping. C900 is the American Water Works Association standard for cast-iron-pipe-equivalent polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pressure pipe for potable water transmission distribution. City crews had completed the repair work by 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.
“Any time we open up a pipe like that, we have the water tested at the state laboratory to make sure the water is safe to drink,” Palmer said. “Normally that is done within 24 hours, but with the Fourth of July holiday we added on another 24 for the testing to be completed. The lab tests for the presence of bacteria. If there is any unsafe bacteria, the water is retested and we give the chlorine in the Pierre drinking water time to kill the bacteria.” Bacteria can be killed by boiling for a sufficient amount of time.
The distributed warning concerning the city water reads:
“Notice to customers. Drinking water boil order. Work was recently completed on the water main in your neighborhood by the city of Pierre. The city recommends as a precautionary measure, that water for drinking or cooking should be brought to a rolling boil for three minutes before use. Drinking water is being sampled and tested by city personnel. Until further notice is given, the drinking water boil order will expire at 5:00 p.m., July 5, 2019. After the drinking water boil order has expired, you may resume normal water use.”