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Broken Arrow Issues Precautionary Boil Order After Water Main Break

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File photo. File photo.
View of Broken Arrow's water main near Pryor from Osage SkyNews 6. View of Broken Arrow's water main near Pryor from Osage SkyNews 6.
View from Osage SkyNews 6 of Broken Arrow's water intake on Grand River. View from Osage SkyNews 6 of Broken Arrow's water intake on Grand River.
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -

The city of Broken Arrow has declared a water emergency and issued a precautionary boil order for all customers, because of a break in a main water line into Broken Arrow from Pryor.

According to a news release, the city is asking residents to use water for essential purposes only such as cooking and bathing.

The City Manager urged residents to take the water emergency seriously Tuesday afternoon.

"We have reached a critical time in our water distribution system," said City Manager Thom Moton. "If our customers do not start conserving water immediately, the City will run out of water, possibly as early as 6 p.m. today."

As of about 7 p.m., the City of Broken Arrow issued a precautionary boil order. Due to the water main break, the water pressure was low enough in the system that the city said it may be at risk of contamination.

The City of Broken Arrow advised consumers to bring any water that comes out of their taps to a full rolling boil for at least one minute before drinking it or using it for food preparation, dish washing, tooth brushing, wound care, or for bathing infants who may ingest bath water.

A PSO transformer that powers Broken Arrow's water treatment facility went out Monday night, forcing the city to shut off its main water valve to Pryor. It burst when they reopened it Tuesday.

On a typical hot June day, the Broken Arrow city pool would be crawling with people. Instead, the pool was empty Tuesday afternoon. Tanning chairs were bare and a sign sat on the front gate, saying the pool is closed.

"Our water towers are critically low right now," said Broken Arrow Communications Director Stephanie Higgins.

The city's main water supply comes from Pryor. After a PSO transformer failed, the city had no way to pump water from the line, so they shut it off until PSO could fix the issue.

From there, it was a domino effect.

"When we reopened the valve, because of the pressure, the backup pressure that was coming from Pryor, it caused our water line to break," Higgins said.

During the summer months, the city's splash pads are a popular place for kiddos. Right now, they're all dry.

The city has closed them to help conserve water.

"We've eliminated watering at Battle Creek Golf Course, which is a municipal golf course. We're doing what we can on our part to help with the situation, as well."

The city manager is asking all residents and businesses to only use water for essential things like cooking and bathing.

"If we can get our residents to help us during this time, we shouldn't be at a point where we could lose water quickly," Higgins said.

But for the time being, people in Broken Arrow will have to find other ways to cool off on this hot June day.

City crews hope to have the line fixed sometime Tuesday night. But it could take until Wednesday afternoon for them to lift the water emergency.

The boil order is in effect until further notice.

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