ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. – The now two-day water boil order in the metro east is affecting thousands of people and businesses. It’s also an inconvenience for hospitals.
There are signs posted inside St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon stating there is no drinking water. Extended freezing temperatures caused the breaks on the east side of the river and thousands of people are still under an advisory.
“The loss of consumable water is difficult, so we plan for these things and we inevitably have to go and make sure water sources are turned off,” said Tim Claxton, director of facilities at St. Elizabeth’s.
The employees at St. Elizabeth’s control what happens with their patients, but it’s more difficult to make sure visitors know what’s going on when they arrive. It’s not easy, but St. Elizabeth’s always has a plan, Claxton said.
“We have an emergency management program at the hospital, so we practice and drill for situations like this so we can operate a command structure,” he said.
It’s very difficult when there is a water boil advisory, but they have dealt with plenty in the past.
“We rely on local vendors like Sam’s, Walmart, Schnucks, Dierbergs to provide us with water,” Claxton said.
Besides the drinking fountains not being open and the coffee shop not able to make coffee without running water, you really wouldn’t know everything they’re doing behind the scenes.
“The water is safe to wash your hands, bathe, and all those functions, just not safe to consume right now,” Claxton said.