Four water main breaks hit central Columbia

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COLUMBIA - There is a boil advisory in effect for three of the four areas where water mains broke in central Columbia Thursday night.

The water main breaks were probably caused by a combination of several things happening at the same time. In the evening, the water towers and reservoirs are filled. By filling the Walnut Street water tower, it could have caused a pressure surge to weaken and break older, cast iron pipes. 

Columbia Water and Light officials confirmed the water main breaks were reported around 6 p.m. at these locations:

1. 825 S. Walnut St.; 20 customers were affected.

2. 15 Hitt St.; the fire service line broke.

3. 911 S. West Blvd.; five customers were affected.

4. 812 Worley St.; 20 customers were affected.

"Once the utility locates have been completed, crews will work diligently to get the problem resolved," said Connie Kacprowicz, Columbia Water and Light Communications and Marketing Supervisor.

Kacprowicz said the breaks could be due to the weather's impact on the soil, and the age of the pipes.

The street repairs are expected to be finished within four to six hours.

Customers between 8th and 9th Street and on West Boulevard were notified of a precautionary boil advisory. Water tests take 24 hours and will last until early Saturday morning, the same time the boil advisory will be lifted. If there is anything found in the contamination tests, customers will be notified. 

[Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect new information.]