TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson Water has announced that customers on the southwest side that were affected by a water main break should have water service again.
However, customers who were without water were advised to boil their water before consuming it as a precaution until Thursday, Sept. 5.
A portion of Irvington Road between Kinney Road and Sheridan Avenue remained closed as of Monday morning, Sept. 9. A spokesman for Tucson Water said the road would reopen once the roadway is repaired. The intersection is expected to open by Wednesday, Sept. 11.
The outage, which began at 7 p.m. Monday, covered the area from Irvington to Camino De Oeste and extends east to Drexel Heights and is estimated to have affected about 5,000 customers, which is estimated to be 10,000 people.
The outage forced the closure of five public schools in the area. The Tucson Unified School District confirmed Johnson Elementary, Vesey Elementary, Valencia Middle School, Banks Elementary and Warren Elementary were not open Tuesday and will remain closed Wednesday. All five of those schools will reopen Thursday.
TUSD assured that water fountains have been turned off and bottle water will be given to every student instead. Hand sanitizer will also be available in every classroom, restroom, cafeteria and nurses office. Breakfast and lunch will be available and classes will operate on a normal schedule.
Fernando Molina, the spokesman for Tucson Water, said they do not know what caused the 16-inch pipe to fail. He said age of the pipe, located at Ajo and Kinney, does not seem to be a factor.
Tucson Water was handing out bottled water at two places -- the Tucson Estates Community Center and the southwest corner of Ajo and Kinney. Temporary bathrooms were brought in those two places as well.
Tucson Water released the following statement:
"Tucson Water continues to work to reinstate water service to residents affected by a broken water main in the vicinity of Ajo and Kinney Roads. Most residents can expect restored water service by midnight Sept. 3. This will provide water to most, but not all of the residents in the affected area.
Due to the size of the affected area, and as a precaution, Tucson Water is urging customers in that zone to boil water for the next 48 hours before consuming it. Water Director Tim Thomure stated “We have not detected any contamination. But out of an abundance of caution, we are asking any customers who lost water service to boil water for drinking or cooking, or go to our water distribution stations to pick up bottled water.”
Tucson Water will continue to distribute bottled water through Thursday evening, September 5, 2019, at two locations, (southwest corner of Ajo and Kinney, and 5900 W. Western Way Circle in Tucson Estates). Tap water to be used for consumption should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation through the evening of Thursday, September 5, 2019. The tap water is considered safe to use for showering and other indoor and outdoor uses, including livestock watering.
As water service is restored, customers may experience fluctuations in pressure, and/or air bubbles in the water until the water system stabilizes. Water with air bubbles may appear milky or cloudy. This does not indicate contamination. Air bubbles will dissipate if the water is left to rest for several minutes.
Tucson Water will continue to post updates on its Facebook and Twitter pages, and on its water outages map at tucsonaz.gov/water/outages. "