South Milwaukee boil water advisory through Tuesday

The City of South Milwaukee is under a boil water advisory after the water utility experienced electrical issues Sunday morning, June 19. It will continue through Tuesday, June 21.

It might not look like anything is wrong with it, but health officials say, drinking tap water in South Milwaukee could possibly make you sick. 

"I thought, well I’ll get in line at 4. Well, I ended up wayyy over there," said Elaine Anderson who patiently waited outside South Milwaukee city hall Monday.

"Half an hour, not too bad," she said.

The line of cars was waiting for their turn to get a case full of bottled water because the tap water in South Milwaukee isn't safe to drink. 

City officials say an equipment failure Sunday morning required them to issue a boil advisory. 

They say the problems started with the storms that rolled through last Monday. 

"There were a series of outages that occurred at the utility. There were mechanical failures, electrical failures and communication failures that occurred during the storm. The facility was actually unable to pump water out for about 5 hours on Monday night. One of the service pumps was restored. Since then we have had numerous faults with that one pump that has been restored," said Ben Huffman, superintendent of water/wastewater.

"It’s not a good idea, when you’re my age you should be drinking a lot of water," said Anderson.

She says the storms knocked her power out for 3 days. 

This wait is another hurdle to make it through a Wisconsin summer. 

"I think that’s awfully nice of the city to do this sort of thing," said Anderson.

With the bottled water, people were also given this question sheet from the city with what you can and cannot do.

For example, they say adults can shower but infants should not. 

Bacteria can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea or headaches. Infants, young children and anyone with a weakened immune system is at an increased risk for developing more severe symptoms. 

Residents who experience any of these symptoms, even if tap water has been avoided, should call their healthcare provider. 

This advisory is until further notice. 

All food establishments and any business that utilizes water for patients/patrons (i.e. restaurants, taverns, foodstores, doctors, dentists) within the City of South Milwaukee that process and/or prepare food need to cease and desist all tap water operations (including ice made on the premises) until further notice. All tap water is assumed to be contaminated and must not be used unless boiled, per the Department of Natural Resources.

The Water Utility will be running tests for bacteria in the public water supply. The Water Utility is working closely with the Health Department to correct the problem as soon as possible. 

This advisory is in effect until further notice from the South Milwaukee Health Department. Residents are asked to contact neighbors who may not be aware of this advisory.