**UPDATE** The boil advisory issued Friday has been lifted as of 3 p.m. Saturday, according to the City Water Division.
ST. LOUIS – A major water main break at Lansdowne and Chippewa caused some people in St. Louis to have low or no water pressure. Collector of Revenue Gregory FX Daly says that crews are working to isolate the break in the 20-inch main.
“The street flooded, as you can see behind me,” said Nick Desideri, a communications director for the City of St. Louis. “We’ve had more than 60 water main breaks since October 2022. Unfortunately, this is the latest. The water division immediately deployed crews to staunch the break. Repairs will commence shortly, and we expect it to last at least 12 hours.”
Nearby homes and businesses are feeling the effects of low water pressure; even the Gateway Region YMCA Carondelet Park Rec Complex closed Friday afternoon because of low water issues.
“The ground, actually, the street was completely covered in dirty water, so it kind of freaked us out,” said Donna Cox, a clerk at LeGrand’s Market and Catering. “We weren’t sure what it was, so I ran over to the firehouse and told them. So, they could get their equipment out or what they needed to do, and everybody called the water department.”
A precautionary boil water advisory has been issued for several south St. Louis neighborhoods. The city’s water division says that they have not detected any water contamination. The boil water advisory has been issued out of an abundance of caution.
However, LeGrand remained open.
“It didn’t stop us,” says Jim LeGrand, owner of LeGrand’s Market and Catering. “We did escort our customers out to their cars, so they could move them to our parking lot. There was about eight inches of water coming out pretty fast. Rock, and dirt, and debris. So, we managed to do that and kept our business going as planned.”
Neighborhoods with a precautionary boil advisory:
- Bevo Mill
- Boulevard Heights
- Holly Hills
- Mount Pleasant
- Lindenwood Park
Elected officials are proposing a water rate increase to pay for infrastructure improvements in the city. The increase would result in the largest hikes in city water bills in nearly three decades.
The proposal came at a budget hearing Monday by Public Utilities Director Curt Skouby. The proposal would mean two 20% increases in the next fiscal year. One in July, and the other in January 2024.
Skouby said the increases are necessary to help the water division deal with rising costs and aging infrastructure. Altogether, the increases would mean a $10 monthly jump in the average customer’s bill.
A representative from the St. Louis Mayor’s office states, “With more than 60 water main breaks since October 2022, it’s absolutely clear that the City can no longer kick the can down the road.”