Belle boil advisory lifted Tuesday afternoon

Roxie Murphy
Staff Writer

City residents and restaurant owners said they are coming through the inconvenience of Friday night’s water boil advisory with few glitches, but are ready for the notice to be lifted.

Theresa Taylor, owner of The Dinner Belle, said her staff made it through the weekend.

“It is really a nightmare for us because we have ice, soda, tea, and lemonade and it affects everything liquid,” Taylor said. “We are very busy Saturday and Sunday. We had an extra staff member on hand just to make drinks. It’s a lot.”

Taylor said Friday that she thought her staff could handle it though.

“The restaurant has handled a lot of disasters, but we have a great staff and they will handle anything we throw at them!”

On Monday, Taylor gave an update of the weekend, which was absent of any glitches.

“We served 15 gallons of coffee and pre-made enough to get us through the weekend,” she said.

Staff had worked to pre-make tea and store bags of ice in the coolers at the restaurant days before hand. Taylor said Monday was the first day they had to buy ice from Mace’s Supermarket.

“It went smooth, but we are ready for the water to come back,” Taylor said. “As always, everything went great.”

Other Belle residents, namely mothers with small children, struggled despite trying to be prepared. Nikita Carver said it was the little things that caught them off guard.

“We went to get a fountain soda from Double L Country Store,” she said. “They could do ice, but not the soda fountain. The soda came from two-liter bottles instead.”

Carver and her family pre-bought water from Dollar General in town.

Brenda Turner resides in Belle with 12 children — three of which are toddlers.

“I’ve bought a lot of water,” Turner said. “Considering I have an infant that takes formula and I had to buy a bottle warmer to ensure his bottles are warm.”

Turner said she tried to prepare in advance of the water shut-off by jugging water and filling the family’s pet containers. But with toddlers, ages 2, 3 and 4 years-old, restrictions go beyond simply bottling water.

“It’s very costly for us, considering you have to use bleach to clean your dishes even. Which my one child is allergic too!” Turner said, adding she is crossing her fingers that nothing happens.

She added that baths are stressful with the little ones, as they like to play, splash and sometimes drink the water.

She added that when possible, she travels to her brother’s farm outside of town to refill the jugs when possible, as Dollar General and Casey were running low. Maries R-2 held parent teacher conferences on Monday, called off school Tuesday to avoid dealing with the boil advisory, and told parents they were unsure if they would have school Wednesday. Turner said that just adds to her stress.

“Guess i didn’t realize how quickly we would go through water, and/or need it,” she said. “Honestly, I’m scared to ‘boil it then use I’ve been bathing and washing dishes. That’s it. I’ve not even done laundry because the water smells horrible too.”

But the family is keeping themselves together with the end (hopefully) in sight.

“I’m making it cause we have too, but it’s not been a fun experience by any means,” Turner said.

Public Works Director Nathan Abel said everything went great Friday night.

“The guys from Mid-State Pipeline

City officials announced March 5 that they would be working with Mid-State Pipeline to conduct repairs on the main waterline on Johnson Avenue on March 8. They planned to turn off the city’s water completely at 10 p.m. that evening, but only expected the replacement process to take a couple of hours.

Following the replacement installations, the city was under a boil advisory through the weekend. Water samples were sent to a lab in Jefferson City early Monday morning, but Public Works Director Nathan Abel said Friday it takes at least 30 hours for results to be returned, and received a response at 12:25 p.m. Tuesday that the samples came back good.

“The boil advisory has been lifted,” Abel said. “The guys at Mid-State Pipeline done a great job. They brought in everyone they had — three crews, to have a crew on each hydrant. We shut the water off at exactly 10 p.m. and turned it back on at 11:40 p.m.

Abel said the hydrants were successfully replaced and new pipes put in. The old hydrants were thought to have been installed in the 1950s.

“Those guys got in there and got it done,” Abel said.

When the water was restored, Abel said he and Daryl Jenkins flushed the lines until between 4:30 and 5 a.m. to remove any debris or smell. He added that there may be some pockets in places that could cause an order.

“It will not make the water unsafe to drink,” Abel assures residents.

See page 12 for photos.