This article has been updated to reflect the most recent reporting.

A boil order for the City of Athens is expected to continue through Friday evening and possibly Saturday morning because of a water main break.

The city will give out a “limited amount of water bottles” to Athens water customers, according to a news release from the City of Athens.

Customers can pick up one case per car at the maintenance building in front of the Athens Community Center, 701 E. State St., until 8 p.m. on Thursday evening, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.

The Athens County chapter of the American Red Cross is also helping deliver water to those who are homebound.

The City of Athens issued a boil order at about 10 a.m. for all customers.

Ohio University's main campus closed Thursday morning at 7:45 a.m. due to the water main break. All classes are canceled until further notice.

The City of Athens water main break affects most buildings on campus, according to an email alert from the university.

All areas west of U.S. 33 and north of the Hocking River will be without water until further notice due to a water main break near the water treatment plant on West State Street, an alert sent out from the City of Athens said. Once the break is fixed, a boil order will be issued.

Andy Stone, director of Engineering and Public Works in Athens, said the outage was caused by a break in the main line going from the water plant to the Highland Reservoir.

“The break happened about 5 a.m. and very rapidly the main reservoir in the city drained,” Stone said.

He said once the system is repaired, they can put the line back on, but it will take a couple hours to refill the main reservoir. He added that he does not have know how long that process will take once started.

Steve Poling, an Athens resident who lives at 347 W. State St., said he woke up this morning to find water in his front yard and water flowing down West State Street.

“It’s almost like a bowl, and all the water just rushed into it, just kind of made a moat out of the whole yard,” Poling said.

Poling said he still has water despite the flooding of his yard.

Students on campus, however, may find themselves in a different situation. Buildings on campus may experience little to no water pressure, OU's alert stated.

Baker Center, Alden Library, Hudson Health Center and Ping Center have been closed Thursday due to the water main break, as well. All residence halls and dining halls will remain open.

Facilities Management and Safety ordered 75 Port-A-Johns for campus if the water outage lasts an extended period of time, a campus alert stated. Students in the residence halls are advised to use those instead of the toilets once they arrive between 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“While we do not anticipate the outage lasting all day, we are doing this as a precautionary measure,” an email from Housing and Residence Life said.

The email advised that toilets on campus might not flush if the specific building is affected, and that waste will remain in toilets until the water is back up and running.

Those who need access to restrooms can go to the Athens Community Center, according to the city's alert.

Additional updates will be provided throughout the morning.

— Patrick Connolly contributed to this report.


Comments powered by Disqus