O’Fallon IL neighborhood frustrated over water cut-offs due to construction

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

O’FALLON, IL (KTVI) - Residents in a metro east neighborhood are fed up after they lost their water supply for the third time in less than a month. Major construction is under way in the O’Fallon, Illinois neighborhood. It’s all about progress but residents are learning progress can be a pain.  Charlene Longley is a resident in the neighborhood, “The first two times was frustrating this time was anger.”

The water supply to at least 15 homes has been cut because of construction work. Resident said it happened 2 times for 6 hours and a third time for four hours.  Susan Whitehair said, “You can’t do dishes, can’t flush the toilet, can’t get a drink of water, brushing your teeth.”  Even after water is restored they have to boil it before using it. Some folks have been buying bottled water. Whitehair said, “Aggravating, very aggravating.”

Jeff Taylor is the town’s director of public works, “I want to thank them for their patience in this project.”

He said here’s what’s been going wrong. Crews have been replacing storm sewer lines.  In some cases the water lines, which are 50 years old, pass above. And, that’s why two of the lines ruptured.  Taylor added, “We took care to back fill around the existing water line after the storm sewer was in place. However, a couple of weeks later after the ground fell around it the water line broke.”

Neighbor’s said Tuesday’s rupture occurred when a backhoe broke open a water line. Taylor said there are better times ahead, “I do not anticipate any more break occurring out there.”  Charlene Longley said, “When I see it I’ll believe it.”

Residents are also concerned how their neighborhood will look once the project is complete.  Right now fences are down and lawns are covered with mounds of dirt.