Boil water order lifted in Minnesota city after water main breaks repaired
Updated: March 10, 6:30 a.m.
A boil water order was lifted for the northwest Minnesota city of Stephen on Thursday, nearly a week after the first of two water main breaks knocked out water to much of the community.
Water service was restored late Wednesday, and officials in the city of about 600 people announced Thursday afternoon that testing confirmed the water was safe to drink.
The dayslong saga included workers battling through subzero temperatures to repair the breaks, distribution of drinking water from the city office and community center, and Stephen-Argyle Central High School students helping out by placing straw bales to insulate temporary water lines.
City officials in Stephen, in the Red River Valley about 40 miles from the Canadian border, first reported a water main break last Thursday night. It forced them to shut off water for a large part of the town.
After locating the break, crews had to take extra time to thaw the ground so they could safely dig around a natural gas main to reach the water line.
Water service was restored Saturday evening — but the water main broke again on Sunday night. The city distributed water to affected residents who needed it.
On Wednesday, the city posted photos and video on its Facebook page showing Stephen-Argyle Central High School students, teachers and administrators helping move bales of straw to insulate temporary, above-ground water lines. The city said local firefighters also helped with that work.
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