Council Bluffs officials announced Thursday afternoon that the boil advisory issued after Wednesday morning's water main break has been lifted, effective immediately.
Water Works general manager Doug Drummey said tests indicate there are no pathogenic organisms or bacteria in the city's water system. It is now safe to drink and cook with, without having to boil it first.
The advisory was issued after the break at North 9th Street and Avenue E caused a drop in pressure. That could have allowed contaminants to enter the lines, posing a danger to health.
The end of the boil advisory includes residents of Underwood and McClelland and areas south of Neola and west of McClelland.
You don't need water to cook up a batch of fries, but just in case, the Main Street Café closed Wednesday after the city issued the water boil order.
“We didn't really know how to handle it at the time, so we wanted to get more information on it and find out what to do,” said café employee Cindy Ashley. The café opened Thursday morning. “Shut the water all down, shut two switches off and keep us some good ice,” said café employee Shawn Bauer.
Meanwhile, Drummey was busy minding his refrigerator at work. “These sample bottles here are the cultures that tell us whether or not chloroform bacteria is present." They looked unsavory, but that's safe drinking water inside. “As long as they remain amber like that, that is the proof we need the water is safe and there's not bacteria present."
Just like at the Main Street Café, Drummey played this catastrophe on the safe side. “We are not going to play Russian roulette with public health. We are going to do what is necessary to protect public health."
Patrick Tanner was thankful no one was in any danger. “It's not the end of the world, it's just one of them things that happen."
With the boil order lifted, life is returning to normal except for a lot of work that remains at the site of the water main break.
Drummey says you don't have to run water through your coffee pot or ice maker in the freezer, but he says if it'll make you feel better it's an extra precaution you can take.