SEWARD – The City of Seward Water Department identified what we believe to be the source of the break in the water system Sunday night. The break is suspected to be located underneath the flood waters of the Big Blue River near Highway 15. Crews began isolating the break and closing water main valves throughout the night. Many valves were located under flood water, prolonging the time it took to isolate the problem area. Once isolated, the City of Seward Water Department personnel began to bring the City Water System back on line at approximately 9:30pm. This was a slow process and we were not able to determine if pressure was holding in the water towers until near 1:00am. At this time we are still filling the water towers and monitoring pressure. If we are able to maintain pressure we will begin the process of sampling and testing the water system for bacterial and/or nitrate concentrations. Pursuant to law, we will be required to take two (2) days of testing/sampling. If a clean bill of health is issued we could see consumable/drinkable City Water in the system as soon as late Wednesday.
Please do not consume nor drink the water. Do not consume Seward City water even if you boil it. You may bathe, run laundry, flush toilets, and other related non-consumption activities. Do not: Drink the water; cook with the water; brush your teeth with the water; or use water for formula for infants or children. These restrictions will remain until further notice.
City Administration was actively coordinating with our local retail stores throughout the night to order in drinking water. We believe that Walmart and Pac N Save have both received shipments of additional drinking water this morning for purchase at their stores. We are also working with Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and the Nebraska National Guard to bring in water trailers which will allow us to make additional drinkable water available to the public.
We will continue to coordinate throughout the morning on the drinking water situation. Please continue to monitor local media, social media, and the City of Seward website.