By Bob Uphues
North Riverside officials have issued a boil order until further notice for all households between First Avenue and 19th Avenue following what's being described as a "major" water main break on Cermak Road at about 7th Avenue.
While the boil order is in effect, residents are being instructed to boil all water being used "for all drinking and culinary purposes" for at least five minutes before consumption.
Public Works Director Tim Kutt said the water was gushing at about 1,000 gallons per minute directly into the sewer system. No water was showing above ground, but a sharp drop in water pressure in the area at about 3:30 p.m. indicated that a main had failed somewhere.
Crews put cameras into sewer lines to try to pinpoint the break, which took about a half hour, Kutt said.
"Our crews are already on it," Kutt said. "We're digging right now."
Kutt estimated that the repair to the pipe ought to be made by about 7 p.m. tonight. However, the boil order will remain in effect until sometime tomorrow, Kutt said, because the village won't be able to submit a water sample to Suburban Laboratories, which is required by the Illinois Environmental protection Agency, until first thing tomorrow morning.
"Hopefully [the lab] can turn it around the same day," said Kutt.
Eastbound traffic on Cermak Road between 10th Avenue and 5th Avenue has been reduced to one lane, so motorists may want to avoid the area.