Pipe rupture causes school, business closures as locals warned to conserve water

UPDATE: Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has released a statement on the water shortage caused by a pipe rupture in southern Illinois. The governor says the state will do everything in its power to protect public health and safety until the problem is resolved.

In full, the governor’s statement reads:

“The Rend Lake Water Conservancy District, which supplies water to more than 175,000 people in southern Illinois, experienced a major water main break late yesterday afternoon. Efforts by the district to repair the break are on-going at this time. While there currently have been no requests for state assistance, state agencies are actively preparing to provide support needed to ensure the public health and safety of the many communities served by the district.

“Earlier today the Illinois Emergency Management Agency convened a conference call with several state agencies and mutual aid partners to assess the whole community impacts of situation and prepare for potential deployment of state resources t0 impacted communities until the water supply is restored.

“Our primary concern is the well-being of the people affected by this situation. I want to assure everyone affected that the State of Illinois will do everything in our power to ensure public health and safety is protected until this situation is resolved.”

UPDATE:  Rend Lake Water Conservancy has notified the city of Carterville that water service will be partially restored by the end of the day Thursday, with a boil water order in place. That’s according to the Carterville Police Department.

UPDATE: We now have a map of the communities affected by the water main break in southern Illinois.

Courtesy: Rend Lake Conservancy District

UPDATE: Johnston City Police Department is shutting down restaurants in hopes to conserving water for emergencies.


UPDATE: Schools in the Marion CUSD No. 2 will release students early at 2 p.m. Thursday because of the water main break.

UPDATE: City leaders in Mt. Vernon say they have less than a day’s worth of water available.

UPDATE: Carterville School District is releasing students early at 11:15 a.m. Thursday because of the water main break.

REND LAKE, IL — Thousands of families in southern Illinois are being told to conserve water.

The Rend Lake Inter-City Water Treatment Plant provides water to 160,000 people in 60 communities. A pipe ruptured in the plant Wednesday night, forcing the plant to shut down.

A company spokesperson says work to repair the pipe has proven difficult and there is not an estimate as to when it will be repaired. Until then, the companies and communities the plant provides water for is relying on water stored in tanks. That means water is limited and people need to conserve the water they have.


There are about 1,100 direct customers that do not have any water.

We will provide updates as we get them.

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