COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – The city of Collinsville, Illinois is under a boil order Wednesday after a major water main break.

The city work crews have been on the scene along Collinsville Road trying to determine what happened. They are also trying to restore water service to 27,000 residents that are affected.

“We are hoping to have the water back on by this evening,” said Dennis Kress, Collinsville Public Works Director. “We’re waiting on some of the other utilities to come in and move some of their utilities that support them, and we can excavate and replace the broken pipe. We’ve also got a million gallons of water back in storage and pumping that back into the distribution system, but there’s just not enough water to put water back into our elevated towers that supplies the whole town.”

The city’s two water towers had dropped over one million gallons of water after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, when a water main break occurred near the Collinsville Water Treatment Plant.

The citywide water conservation mandate happened during the first day of school for Collinsville School District, where students were given bottled water.

“When you see kids and the staff in schools, regardless of the situation, it’s still been a very positive morning,” said Dr. Brad Skertich, superintendent of Collinsville School District. “But, it’s never a good time to have significant water pressure loss throughout the district and go on a boil order. But, the one thing about educators they’re always flexible.”

Some restaurants like the Horseshoe Lounge and Restaurant and friday’s South Bar and Grill were closed for lunch. However, Bert’s Chuckwagon on Main Street was open for business.

“We went out and bought lots of water, so we sell water and make tea with the water,” said Steven Davinroy, manager for Bert’s Chuckwagon. “So, we just follow all the rules and regulations for the boil order, so we’re able to pull this off and help people.”

Kress said the challenge is to coordinate with other utilities that have lines buried around the water pipe. It is expected for the lines to be repaired within eight hours. The boil order will be in effect until further notice.