OAK GROVE, Mo. — 8/13 Update: Oak Grove boil order has been lifted.
The drought and heat are causing more problems for Oak Grove residents as the city deals with its eighth water main break in the past month and 18 in 2012.
Bob Rymer says there is nothing like an ice-cold glass of water on a hot day. Saturday’s thirst quencher required a little extra effort on Rymer’s behalf.
“It’s getting kind of old,” Rymer said. “You can’t use your dishwasher, your ice maker or anything like that. So, yesterday I got some kind of drinking water and I got the last two packages they had.”
That’s what he Oak Grove’s nearly 8,000 resident will be doing until the boil order has been lifted. For now, residents and business owners are just dealing with the boil order.
“It’s amazing how much you miss it after you don’t have it,” Rymer said. “I keep going to the faucet to get a drink of water and then uh-oh, can’t drink that. We don’t know how long it’s going to last. Hopefully not too long.”
Antonio Martines, the restaurant manager at Moocho Mexican and BBQ says the days of free water and endless refills are gone for now. His customers must buy bottled water and pay for each can of soda they drink.
“It’s a little more expensive for business and the customer because — this started yesterday, Friday,” he said. “The business is a little down because people want iced tea and we don’t have iced tea, we don’t have water.”
City officials are urging residents to take precautions if they do use water from the tap. First, they warn if any tap water is going near your mouth, you must boil it. Also, ice from an automatic ice maker needs to be thrown out. And, to wash dishes and clean surfaces, add a little bleach to the water first.
For Rymer, the inconvenience has been a lesson in gratitude. Once the tap turns back on, he’ll be a lot more thankful for the water that normally flows freely from the faucet.
“Just like anything you’re deprived of, you really appreciate it when you finally get it,” he said.
It’s important to note that water used for hand-washing or bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Oak Grove expects the water to be safe again by Monday.