Construction breaks a main water line

UPDATE: The boil water order for all Union City water customers was lifted at 11:20 a.m. Monday.

ORIGINAL STORY: A local water district is waiting on test results to use its water without boiling it. Construction crews hit a main water line outside the Union City, Tennessee Water Plant Saturday around 5:30 p.m.

City Manager Kathy Dillon says by 7:30 about 2.4 million gallons of water had poured out and filled a trench causing the public works department to shut off the water.   

"We shut them off to preserve the plant. You let that water supply get too low and you put your water supply system in danger." Dillon said.

Dillon says their six tanks holding thousands of gallons of water diminished to about 2 feet. She says a local resident Blake Cheatham brought equipment out about 9 Saturday night and was able to pump out all of the water from the trench.

Crews were connecting a pipe from the existing plant to their new reservoir water tank when it burst.

“We have contracted with a company to build a new one because of the age, and deterioration of our current underwater reservoir. It holds clean drinking water,” Dillon said.

The water came back on early Sunday morning. The city issued a mandatory boil water order which is expected to last through Monday morning.

Obion County Emergency Management Director Danny Gowers says anytime there’s a break, there’s a chance the water becomes contaminated so it needs to be tested. He says he’s positive the test which takes 24 hours will come back negative. 

Due to the boil water advisory, the Obion County School District canceled classes for Monday. Union City Schools are also out Monday, but faculty and staff still need to report. The city manager also says surgeries at Baptist Memorial are also canceled.

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