Belle’s boil advisory lifted, water main breaks continue

Posted 9/22/21

While the city of Belle lifted their boil advisory on Sept. 17 after extending it another two days, the Public Works Department has continued to repair water main breaks near Apple Street.

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Belle’s boil advisory lifted, water main breaks continue

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While the city of Belle lifted their boil advisory on Sept. 17 after extending it another two days, the Public Works Department has continued to repair water main breaks near Apple Street.

During the Sept. 14 city meeting, Public Works Director Tony Baretich explained what they had done for the breaks and the boil order up to that point.

“We chlorinated over the weekend by DNR’s recommendation, we tested, flushed and tested again,” Baretich said.

The morning of Sept. 14 the tests showed no residual effects downstream of the affected area.

“I took two more samples to Jeff City and hopefully we have it all cleared out,” Baretich said. “I am not anticipating –– but there is a possibility the boil order may be extended again. Everyone I have talked to, the phone calls from that side of town, it sounds like there was plenty of chlorine.”

Baretich said he hated to extend the order, but that many major breaks made it necessary.

“When I say the test didn’t pass, we were clear of anything really harmful, bad bacteria,” he said. “What is really showing up is coliform. It is a bacteria, but if you Google it, it doesn’t necessarily hurt you. But if it is present, then other things can be present. It is also the hardest of all the bacterias to get rid of.”

The boil advisory affected everything downstream from the affected area, although it included one block up from the affected area. The north side of town was not affected, but it was chlorinated because the only way to chlorinate is through the main line.

Baretich added that the issue on Apple and subsequent breaks resulted in a depletion of the city’s stocked parts for water breaks and will probably result in a $10,000 parts bill for both repairs needed and replacing the city’s stocked parts.

“We have completely depleted all of our two and four inch clamps,” Baretich said. “You can probably average $200-$250 per clamp. With the lighting strike issue, we were getting long cracks. I tried to keep it as reasonable as I could, but when I called Core and Main and told them what was going on they didn’t charge us any shipping. He got the order in and started bringing stuff down the very next day.”

At the time of the meeting, Baretich had already used four of the clamps he had planned on stocking for future incidents. 

Results from the water test came back on Sept. 15, but did not pass. The boil order was extended to Sept. 17 and then lifted. However, that did not stop the leaks on Apple Street from surfacing.

“We fixed a leak again (Monday),” Baretich said on Tuesday morning when The Advocate checked in to see if the issues had been resolved.

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