A notice from the Washington County Water Company’s website posted on Friday, May 18.
By Alex Haglund
A pipe breakage on Wednesday night, May 16, shut down The Rend Lake Inter-City Water Treatment Plant, which services more than 60 southern Illinois communities and thousands of customers.
One of the major wholesale customers for their water is the Washington County Water Company (WCWC), which on Thursday posted an alert on its website asking its customers east of IL-127 to conserve water for drinking and cooking only.
Other nearby communities affected by the breakage include Mt. Vernon and DuQuoin, as well as a multitude of communities further to the south. People from those communities close to Nashville ventured into the area, attempting to purchase bottled water to help them through the crisis.
As of Thursday evening, businesses in communities like Benton and Marion had been shut down by those areas’ respective health departments, in order to try to conserve water. Late Thursday afternoon, it was reported that at their regular rate of consumption, the city of Mt. Vernon only had a couple of hours worth of water available.
By Friday morning, the trouble had passed, at least for customer of WCWC, which posted a follow-up alert stating that the request to conserve water had been lifted and that there would be no boil order for its customers.
At the regular meeting of the Nashville City Council on the evening of Thursday, May 17, Nashville Mayor Erik Rolf stated that the city water plant was doing everything it could to help supply WCWC, and that if the city could assist them in any other way, they would do so.
Rolf also complimented how well the situation had been handled so far by Utilities Superintendent Blaine Middleton and water plant chief Jim Leonard.
As of Monday morning, WCWC was back to normal, with a call to their office getting a statement that there were no further restrictions and things were back to normal for them.
A statement on their website thanked customers for their efforts at conserving water during the crisis, and also thanked the City of Nashville and the Kaskaskia Water District for their assistance.