AUBURN — Water officials lifted a boil order for residents of Court and Russell streets Tuesday afternoon, saying a dramatic Monday night break was repaired.
"We've started posting notices, door to door, that the water has tested OK; it's now safe to drink and everything is back to normal," Water District Superintendent John Storer said Tuesday.
Crews digging a natural gas line broke a 16-inch water main carrying water from Lake Auburn to the city's Goff Hill Reservoir on Court Street at about 3 p.m. Monday. The break sent geysers of water into the air and shut down Court Street for several hours Monday night.
Storer said the break was fixed Monday night and water service was restored to the area, but the roughly 30 homes on Court and Russell streets were put under a boil order. They were given bottled water for drinking and tooth-brushing until the water could be tested and certified safe.
Crews flushed the pipe Monday night after repairs and residents were urged to let their taps run, but health protocols require testing before giving the all-clear, Storer said. It's possible the inside of the pipe may have been contaminated by bacteria at the site of the break, he said.
"We pulled a lab sample of the water, but it takes about 18 hours for that sample to incubate and be read and go through the process," Storer said.
Test results, released to the public at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, showed no bacterial contamination, he said.
Court Street in Auburn was closed between Western and Park avenues as a result of the break that sent water gushing nearly two stories high for almost an hour shortly before 3 p.m. Crews raced to isolate the location of the break and shut down water to the area.
Water district officials said the accidental break was caused by a crew from Shaw Brothers Construction. The Gorham-based company is under contract with a gas company to install a new gas main. The work crew was digging to prepare for the upcoming installation when it hit the water main.