City crews work to replace water main at Corbin and Cunningham

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Some Rockford residents woke up to discolored or undrinkable water Wednesday morning, after a water main broke around Corbin and Cunningham streets.

“We noticed a drop in water pressure and then discoloration in the water,” said Valerie Peterson, the Head of Communication at Rockford Rescue Mission.

Trash bags covered the water fountains at the Rockford Rescue Mission on Wednesday; even the toilet water turned brown. 

“Our kitchen, food service area, it will be an issue for them,” Peterson said. “We served bottled water to all of our guests at lunch tie and will do that until we know the water is safe again.”

Rockford resident Noel Leon experienced the same thing:

“Dirty, brownish and dirty,” she said, describing the water that poured from her faucets this morning.

“It’s like a milky, dirty water type. Yeah, it’s pretty gross,” said Bibiana Bol, who was bringing water to her aunt when we spoke with her.

“We were noticing low pressure in our central zone,” said Water Superintendent Kyle Saunders. “We started to communicate internally, identified that there was a large break at the intersection of Corbin and Cunningham.”

Saunders says, in some cases, to get clear water, the solution is simple.

“If you notice discolored water, run your cold water tap, get all that water moving, and flush out your internal system,” he said.

Jehad Zatar said that worked for him: “We let it run, we let it keep going ’til it cleared up, so it looks good now.”

The City’s Water Division is working to repair the main in the neighborhood. Currently, nearly two dozen homes don’t even have running water.

“What we’re going to look to do, right now, preliminarily, is replace the old valve with a brand new valve and about 65 feet of brand new pipe,” Saunders said.

Until that’s done, Bol says she’ll continue to drop bottled water off at her aunt’s house on Cunningham.

“Yeah, they were way too scared to boil the water,” she said. “We’re not really used to a situation like this, so we’re not wanting to take any risks.”

If you have any questions or concerns, please call Water Quality at 779-348-7151.

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