4 broken water pipes shut down multiple Muncie restaurants

<p>Crews work to fix one of three water main breaks on Madison Street in Muncie on Tuesday.</p>
<p>Tony Sandleben</p>
<p>NewsLink Indiana</p>

Crews work to fix one of three water main breaks on Madison Street in Muncie on Tuesday.

Tony Sandleben

NewsLink Indiana

UPDATE: As of 6:12 p.m., Wednesday, the boil order was lifted. 

LATER: Indiana American Water believes a water hammer caused the four pipe breaks. An Indiana American Water spokesperson said a water hammer is a "shock wave" that goes through the pipe system, causing pipes to fail. That spokesperson said it is likely someone was operating a fire hydrant and closed it too quickly, triggering the water hammer.

EARLIER: Restaurants along Madison Street in Muncie between East Memorial Drive and 21st Street saw most of their Tuesday business lost due to four water pipe breaks.

Restaurants like Arby's, Taco Bell and Burger King had to close at around 9 a.m. Tuesday. The pipe breaks put their water supply at risk of being contaminated. 

Restaurant workers said they were notified by the health department that if they did not close, they would face a health code violation, punishable by at least a fine.

A construction worker said crews first had to locate the breaks, contain them and then seal them before the water could be turned back on. He said he was called in at about 10 a.m. Tuesday. Indiana American Water said they turned the water lines back on at about 8:15 p.m.

However, at the that time, Burger King employees said their water had not yet begun flowing.

Restaurants remained closed through the night because of the extensive preparation efforts that had to be made to prepare for the next day of business. 

One restaurant employee said due to the risk of contamination, all of the liquids they had in their stores were no longer usable.

To fix that, the employee said he and his manager went out during the day and bought 12 35-packs of bottled water, 20 two-liter bottles of Coca-Cola and 10 two-liter bottles of Diet Coke, spending about $150 all together.

Another employee said this is their busiest time of the year. She said she and her coworkers turned away at least 500 cars throughout the day Tuesday.

Neither the restaurant employees nor the construction crews could give their names or direct quotes.

The restaurants did re-open Wednesday.


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