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Water Main Break Hits Jeff City

***UPDATE 8:50 P.M.***Despite the boil advisory, Jefferson City Public Schools will be back in session and state office buildings will reopen.When asked about possible upgrades to the nearly century-old water system, Missouri American Water says the company has spent nearly $12 million on upgrades in 2011 and has plans for steady upgrades over the next several years.***UPDATE 4:45 P.M.***The Department of Natural Resources tells ABC 17 News they are still testing the water in Jefferson City and that the boil advisory for residents will remain in effect for about 24 hours. Missouri American Water’s 11,000 customers are all affected by the advisory.Water officials say the repair cost about $7,000, which customers will have to help pay. Missouri American Water says the increase on bills will not be noticeable though.Crews believe the perfect storm of problems hit within the water system, causing the water main break. A second problem happened at a pump station on Bald Hill Road at almost the same time of the main valve failure.***UPDATE 2 P.M.***Missouri American Water said customers should have pressure. Water will be returning to customers gradually. The boil advisory remains in effect until water samples are tested.***UPDATE 11:50 A.M.***Water officials tell ABC 17 News that nearly 75 percent of Jefferson City is affected by the water main break. Officials say a 90-year-old part ruptured around 8 a.m. Tuesday, causing the water main break.Crews are working to fix the water main and expect water to return to customers starting this afternoon.St. Mary’s Health Center, Capital Region Hospital and the Cole County Jail are affected by the break. Emergency Manager Bill Farr is getting several tractor trailer tankers with potable water to these facilities to ensure their continued operations. The Sheriff’s Department brought in water for inmates and staff. The Cole County Jail is following protocol to manage the water shortage issue and is continuing to operate through this crisis. St. Mary’s Health Center is bringing in water tankers to provide water to the hospital.A boil water advisory is now in effect for all customers in the Missouri American Water Jefferson City service area due to the water main break. Customers in that area need to boil water for five minutes before consumption. The boil advisory will be in effect until water quality samples confirm that the water remains safe for consumption. Boil advisories normally last 24 to 36 hours after repairs are completed.Jefferson City Medical Group will close at 12 p.m. due to the water shortage.***ORIGINAL STORY***A water main break in Jefferson City is forcing some schools to dismiss early Tuesday.Schools are letting out early because of a water shortage.

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