Water now usable for personal uses, not safe for consumption

Edward Leonard

Ames’s water is now safe to use for showering and other personal uses, but is still not safe to drink.

The city of Ames held a follow-up news conference this evening concerning the nature of public utilities and their restoration to usable conditions in the community.

The city identified two large water main breaks and four smaller breaks in the water system. All of these leaks were closed off, and no more leaks are thought to be present.

The Ames Fire Department has acquired three water tankers as a portable water supply to avoid using hydrants. More tankers are on standby in nearby communities in the event of an emergency.

All emergency services in the community still are operational.

The ISU and Ames emergency services are increasing fire and rescue patrols in high risk areas around the community, and the number of on-duty firefighters was increased.

There will be five bottled water distribution sites stationed throughout Ames. Locations for these will be posted on the city of Ames website. Citizens are asked to limit themselves to 2 gallons of bottled water per person per day.

Water is now available for personal hygiene and toilet use. Tap water is still thought to be unsafe to drink. Citizens are encouraged to conserve water as much as possible by taking shorter showers and turning off automatic sprinkler systems. This will restore pressure to the piping system and allow for a quicker flush of all contaminants. These restrictions do not apply to Xenia water customers.

Fire hydrants will be opened around the city starting at 7:30 Thursday morning to begin flushing contaminants from the system. Water is estimated to be drinking-safe by Tuesday at the latest.

Power is still out to several hundred citizens due to flooding at unsafe levels around transformers. The transformers were turned off before they could be damaged by the water, and will be reactivated as soon as the water reaches a safe level and after a brief safety inspection. Safety crews are working 24 hours a day to expedite this process. No further power outages are expected.