South Milwaukee residents warned not to use tap water 'until further notice' following boil order

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Updated: 11:29 a.m. on June 21, 2022

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- South Milwaukee has lifted its water boil advisory Tuesday, June 21. Residents and food establishments can resume normal operations.


Updated: 9:28 p.m. on June 20, 2022

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- South Milwaukee residents are still without water Monday night. A boil order that went into effect early Sunday has not been lifted. 

It's been a rough few days as officials scramble to be sure everyone's been notified. Health officials say the water is unsafe to drink, to brush your teeth and to cook with. That information and more, on handouts given to residents Tuesday. 

South Milwaukee's struggling through a hot day without tap water. City officials organized a bottled water giveaway at City Hall. Volunteers made it possible. 

Monday, June 20, marks day two of a mandatory boil order. We're told wicked storms last week damaged the water filtration system along the lakefront. But it wasn't until Sunday that it became a real problem.

"I love South Milwaukee and if I can be a part of helping others, that's what I'm here for," said Judy Williams, volunteer from the Lions Club.

So many people turned out for the freebie, the line of vehicles went on for blocks. 

"So this is what I'm doing with my day off, sitting in this 45-minute line at least, at least," said one resident who asked to remain anonymous.

The boil order went into effect early Sunday, June 19.

"Due to low or no pressure in the system, we were required to issue the boil advisory," said Tami Mayzik, city administrator.

The trouble actually started a week ago after severe storms knocked out the power. 

"The wind didn't affect the utility. It was more of an electrical issue," said Ben Huffman, Water Wastewater superintendent.

The water treatment was not impacted, but the distribution system was. Crews have been working around the clock to make repairs.

Everyone in the 53172 ZIP code was told to boil their water until further notice. Not everyone's getting the message. 

"I knocked on all my neighbors doors who I know are older and told them about it and they had no idea," said an unnamed resident.

Russ Say is staying prepared. His wife has been boiling tap water and putting it aside.

"She boiled like three big pots of water just in case she needs it for cooking or something like that, so just to be safe," he said.

South Milwaukee residents experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their doctor. 

"It's most likely gonna be stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea," said Jackie Ove, public health administrator.

The last time South Milwaukee had a water issue was in 2010. 

Any updates to the boil order will be posted on South Milwaukee's Facebook page and on the city's official website. 

You can also sign up for text alerts on the city's page. If you have any questions, call 211.


Posted: 8:40 a.m. on June 19, 2022 

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- On the morning of Sunday, June 19, some residents of South Milwaukee have reported issues with using their faucets. 

Some community members have reported low water pressure, turning on faucets to nothing but air, and are noticing strange smells. 

In a release, South Milwaukee Police Department Lieutenant David Hoeppner said, "The water department has identified the issue and is working on fixing it as quickly as they can. The city will be releasing a statement soon to provide further guidance in regards to the water." 

This is a developing story, stay tuned to CBS 58 for updates. 

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