Due to a power outage at a St. Paul Regional Water Services pump station, residents in a three-square-mile region of Maplewood and a northeastern part of St. Paul are advised to boil their water until at least Tuesday afternoon.
According to a statement released by water utility representatives on Monday, contamination of the distribution system was both conceivable and improbable as a result of a drop in water pressure at the Beebe Road pump station in Maplewood. Yet 1,900 client accounts are being instructed to boil their water for three minutes before using it for drinking, cooking, or brushing their teeth, or they can use bottled water as a routine precaution.
According to the utility, there is currently no proof that pollution has penetrated the distribution system.
The statement, which was released just before 3 p.m., stated that staff members were working to restore system pressure and checking the water for quality.
The following regions are impacted by the decrease in water pressure:
- To the north, Holloway Ave. East, between Seventh Ave. E. and Division St./Halloway Ave E.
- To the east, Geneva Ave. N. between Conway Ave. E. and Halloway Ave. E./Division St.
- To the south, Conway Ave. E. between Carlton St. N. and Geneva Ave. N. and Ave. R.
- To the west, Ruth St. N. between Seventh Ave. E and Larpenteur Ave. E.; Winthrop St. N. between Larpenteur Ave. E. and Hoyt Ave. E.; Idaho Ave. E. between Furness Parkway and Winthrop St. N.; McKnight Rd. N. between Ivy Ave. E. and Margaret St.
In a written statement, Patrick Shea, general manager of St. Paul Regional Water, stated that the company was “committed to delivering safe water for our consumers and are taking this measure out of an excess of caution.” “Saint Paul Regional Water Services employees are attempting to fix the issue.”
In a quick follow-up interview on Monday afternoon, Shea revealed that the Beebe facility experienced a localized power outage soon after noon that caused it to stay offline for around two hours. A discharge valve at the pump station would not open even after a backup generator started, which had an impact.
We can’t say with certainty that certain parts of the system didn’t lose pressure at that period, Shea said.
Distribution personnel went outside to gauge pressure in the affected service area during the power outage. Currently, Shea stated, “Our distribution crew is sort of rebalancing the region, opening and closing valves.”
According to him, a water quality test might take up to 18 hours, but officials are optimistic they will be able to “give the all clear” by Tuesday at noon or 1 p.m. Similarly, in 2013, a water main break on Wall Street in downtown St. Paul prompted the utility to issue a “boil water” warning.
Customers who live beyond the specified distribution region shouldn’t be alarmed, Shea said.