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Water break causes chaos

OBSERVER Photo City of Dunkirk crews work to halt a major water main break on Tuesday morning on Lake Shore Drive.

A boil-water and conservation order will remain in effect for all residential and industrial users of the city of Dunkirk system after a major water main break early Tuesday.

City officials were hoping all users would have water service back by Tuesday night as many city residents received a rude awakening when nothing came out of faucets in the morning. “Some areas of the city we were able to isolate and supply from reserve tanks,” Mayor Wilfred Rosas said. “Unfortunately, we can’t use this system for the whole city.”

For example, while the Lincoln Arms apartments on Main Street had water, the taps were dry over on Fifth Street. Rosas said he did not have water at his own residence, on Central Avenue.

D & F Plaza was getting water from Fredonia, Rosas said. The city recently supplied water to Fredonia after the village had its own break, and now Fredonia is returning the favor.

The break, first reported not long after midnight, was on Lake Shore Drive near Tim Hortons. Rosas called it “one of the biggest water mains in the city. It’s one of the main arteries.”

City of Dunkirk workers, along with an engineer and a private contractor, were doing the repair work.

The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday afternoon the water main break caused many Dunkirk water customers have no water or low pressure. Because water levels have been depleted, all non-essential water use was urged to be discontinued immediately including that used for manufacturing and other industrial purposes until further notice.

Residential customers were asked to conserve water by limiting laundry and showers and use paper and plastic ware for eating to decrease dish washing. Industrial users and schools are being asked to shut down to conserve water until water levels are stabilized.

Once water was restored, all customers must boil their water or use bottled water for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth and making ice. Bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute and allow it to cool before using. The water can still be used for bathing and washing. This boil water order applies to all residential and commercial customers.

Major locations impacted included Brooks-TLC Hospital at 529 Central Ave., which was without water most of the day. The hospital noted in a post on Facebook the Emergency Department was open and all surgeries and procedures were canceled Tuesday.

Bottled water was distributed to city customers at the Firemen’s Training Grounds at 665 Brigham Road for about five hours on Tuesday.

Motorists on Lake Shore Drive, also state Route 5, were detoured around the work that was taking place from Central Avenue to Main Street.

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