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Low Public Cost For Normal Water Main Break

Cristian Jaramillo

The big water main break that caused a boil order in the town of Normal earlier this month was, surprisingly, not that expensive for the town.

Apart from the inconvenience to residents, City Manager Mark Peterson said dealing with the water main break the evening of March 9 was relatively easy."A little over $10,000 and that was mostly overtime. We had two crews working all night long on Thursday and crews working throughout Friday," said Peterson.

The cost of the water itself was also very low.

"We pay a little over $600 per million gallons to treat the water. That's the cost of energy. It is the cost of chemical additives. Everything that goes into the treatment of water, that is the rough estimate. So, we lose four. The cost of treating that four was roughly $2,500," said Peterson.

Peterson said the town, thankfully, does not have to pay the aquifer to pump the water from wells in town and west of town.

The Town bills residents more than that $2,500, but that also includes allocations to keep up the piping system and water towers.

The significant damage from the incident was to Epiphany School , directly downhill from the break that sent water geysering six feet in the air. At one point water levels hit fifteen inches in some classrooms. School officials said at the time they had a private restoration firm clean up the mud and mess. Parents completed detailed cleaning of the school and rearrangement of classroom furniture.

The school was insured.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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