UPDATE: The City of Exeter, the State Water Resources Control Board, and Tulare County have determined that water is safe to drink and that City of Exeter Water System customers no longer need to boil their water.
A notice distributed by the City of Exeter states that “no harmful effects occurred in the water system as a result of the water main break.”
Mid-morning today, Monday July 11, 2016, a 10” water main was broken on Belmont Avenue, south of Visalia Road. Electric utility crews working on a construction project at that location ruptured the water main, releasing a substantial amount of water under extreme pressure.
Immediate response focused on preventing flooding of nearby residential and commercial properties. All indications are that water was diverted effectively before it entered any structures. Roadways, yards, and alleys in the area were flooded for a period of time.
At the same time, City of Exeter Public Works crews worked to shut valves and attempt to confine the leak. Due the major size and location of the main, the entire City water system had to be temporarily shut down in order for crews to enter the site and repair the section of pipe. As of 2:00 p.m. all pressure was off in the City system and the repair is underway. Very preliminary estimates are that the repair will take 1-2 hours (it could be longer.)
The water system will be brought back on line as soon as it is safe to do so.
The State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water in conjunction with the City of Exeter, are advising customers of the City of Exeter Water System to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a safety precaution until the system is fully restored.
DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one (1) minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
The City of Exeter will inform you when tests show that water is safe to drink and you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate the repair to the water main being completed this afternoon, and full return of system operations with 24-48 hours.
For more information call:
City Administrator Randy Groom at 559-592-4539
City of Exeter Water Utility contact: Daymon Qualls at 559-592-3318
State Water Resources Control Board – Drinking Water Field Operations Branch- Tulare District Office at (559) 447-3300.