December 5, 2021

Boil-water order remains in effect in Marathon

Residents of the village of Marathon should continue boiling their water at least through Wednesday, the mayor said Monday, after a water main broke in the village.

“We are asking all village residents to conserve water, if you need to drink the water please boil it first and if you have an electric hot water heater shut the power off to it,” the village said via Facebook. “The Department of Health has been notified and the village employees are working diligently to get the issue resolved.”

The Marathon Central School District advised students and staff to bring water from home to drink —if they lived outside the village.

“We encourage students and staff that are living outside of the Village of Marathon to bring water from home for drinking purposes throughout this week,” the district announced via Facebook after the village of Marathon issued a boil-water advisory. “The district will have bottled water on hand for those that need it during the school day.”

The break occurred late Thursday or early Friday, but efforts to find it stalled, Mayor Bill McGovern said Monday. Village workers scoured the streets. “You’re going to see a wet spot,” McGovern said. “We couldn’t find it.”

However, the village has two eight-inch mains that run under the Tioughnioga River, and the latest theory is that the break is one of those.

The break drained two reservoir tanks the village maintains, so some people lost water until lines could be diverted and the thanks refilled. After that, the village must test the water for two days before it can certify its use for human consumption.

The best-case scenario is that water could be used starting Wednesday, McGovern said. But Thursday is also possible.

The remaining main can supply the village’s need, he said, but the broken main would still need to be replaced. If it’s under the river, that’s going to be expensive, but he wasn’t sure how much.

“It’s not going to be fun for us,” McGovern said. “We’re going to need a lot of assistance from the state.”

During a boil-water advisory

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has these tips during a boil-water advisory:

  • Use bottled or boiled water for drinking, and to prepare and cook food.
  • If bottled water is not available, bring water to a full rolling boil for a full minute, then allow it to cool before use.
  • Use boiled or bottled water to brush your teeth.
  • Boil tap water even if it is filtered.
  • Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water line, such as ice and water from a refrigerator.
  • Breastfeeding is the best infant feeding option. If you formula feed your child, provide ready-to-use formula, if available.
  • Be careful not to swallow any water when bathing or showering.
  • Give pets boiled or bottled water, if possible.