East Chicago boil order remains in effect

December 13, 2011 (EAST CHICAGO, Ind.)

Suzy Cruz finally has the water back on, but with a boil order still in effect, cooking and cleaning isn't easy.

"Very little cooking. If it's canned, fine, we got water to put in to heat it up with or whatever and we just limit ourselves, we gotta wash the dishes cause there was no water," Cruz said.

Cruz has been purchasing bottled water since Sunday after a large, aging city pipeline broke 12 feet underground, leaving 30,000 residents without water.

"I had to go out to Menards's and over here in Hammond and got the last four gallon bottle that they had, and then went out to Schererville and I got more out there," Cruz said.

On Monday afternoon, city crews repaired the problem and now 98-percent of residents and businesses have the water back on. City officials are still warning everyone to boil cooking and drinking water for at least five minutes while they conduct testing for any bacteria in the city's water.

"We test for 24 hours, two days in a row until all tests come back negative. Once all tests come back negative, then we'll lift the boil order," Herbie Cruz , East Chicago Emergency Management director, said.

City schools are cancelled for the second day in a row and businesses are struggling to get by with the boil order still in effect. The coffee pots at McDonald's sat empty this morning and customers had to be happy with breakfast and bottled drinks only. The city hopes people can handle the inconvenience for a few more days.

"My message to our community is thank you so much for being patient. Please as we get the information out to you, please adhere to our instructions for your safety," East Chicago Health Department Director Diana Garcia Burns said.

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