West Side water woes make thirsty Screagles

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – A boil advisory on Evansville’s west side won’t be lifted until at least Saturday afternoon, according to the Water and Sewer Utility.

A water main break Wednesday afternoon on North Red Bank Road has authorities with the water department urging people to boil before drinking or cooking.

Some restaurants are slowing down because of the hindrance, and now there is a kink in the cafeteria at the University of Southern Indiana.

The affected area is some 30 square miles on the west side. It includes areas west of St. Joseph Avenue, east to the Posey County line, north of the Ohio River, and south of Mill Road.

Water fountains at USI have a sign to not use them.

“I’m working with staff to make sure everyone stays safe,” said a manager in the USI cafeteria, working double-time to keep jugs of lemonade, fruit punch, and water full.

Fountains aren’t flowing and soda isn’t streaming for lunchtime at the student center.

“I can’t get ice,” laughed one student. “I guess I’m going to drink a drink without ice. It’s pretty tragic stuff,” she joked.

It’s just a change in routine for most students, who agree it’s not a big deal.

“Just not being able to use the water fountains, so it’s not been terrible,” another student said.

USI is keeping students up to date on the boil advisory.

Up the road at Azzip, pizzas aren’t popping quite as quickly as usual. Randall Dougan, shift lead for Thursday lunch, is learning the hard way – a watched pot never boils.

“Safety over quickness,” Dougan said. His hot plate takes about 30 minutes to boil the water needed to make a batch of pizza dough. Normally it only takes a few seconds to fill up the mixing bowl.

EWSU workers jackhammer the road to fix the main break on N. Red Bank Rd.

Luckily, grabbing cold drinks from the cooler only takes an extra second.

“We can’t serve fountain drinks, so we’re switching to canned. We have to make sure our sanitized water,” he added.

Officials with EWSU take two samples before lifting any boil advisory. The first was taken Thursday morning and a second will come Friday.

Samples take 24 hours for a result. If both samples come back clean, EWSU expects to give the all-clear Saturday at noon.

“We’re doing this until we hear something definitive,” Dougan said. “Got to do what we got to do.”

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This story was originally published on October 10, 2019

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