After some searching, the main water line break was finally found Friday night under a fire hydrant, located in front of the Fire Hall, which was flooded in standing water. Matt Meyer, the fire chief of the Fire Hall, said, "They (city crews) didn't know where it was for sure, that they knew they had a problem here, but they didn't think that was the major problem, I guess. Then last night they called me again and that they had it isolated down here and that's when we had to turn it back on and got re flooded again."
But the flood and frozen hydrants didn't stop Chief Meyer and his firemen from their duties. "Yesterday afternoon, we went over to the crick here and took a chain and saw into the ice and tried to make a place where we could get water because we weren't able to use any of the hydrants in town for a while there. So we had a water source set up in the crick right behind the fire station where we could get water out of," Meyer said.
The after effects of the water line breaks trickled across town. A carwash in town closed up shop Friday to avoid any damage to its washing equipment. Lubo Hanuszczak, a car wash attendant, said, "We were concerned there were would be particles in the water from the water line breaks, getting into the sophisticated equipment that we have here, and that would have been a much larger headache than being closed for the day."
A local dine-in also had to close its doors early yesterday. Becky Oldham, a waitress at Donna's Country Kitchen, said, "We were closed for majority of the day (Friday), only open for about four hours, and then today it's been really hard, really hectic trying to boil all the water to use it."
While he doesn't know the exact amount, Flynn said repair services will be costly. "This is a kind of the worst nightmare for a director in the public works department," Flynn said.
Neillsville (WQOW) - Water main breaks are not uncommon in the winter, but what's happening in Neillsville is.
There are several water main breaks and the city has been unable to locate every one. Crews have been working around the clock searching for the source.
"It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It's underground, and that's difficult," said Steve Mabie, Neillsville's Mayor.
Utility crews in Neillsville are looking for a pair of illusive water main breaks that have already taken a toll on the city.
"We probably had at least 90 percent of our residents were out of water during the early morning hours," Mabie said.
While three smaller water main breaks have already been found and isolated, there are two others the city cannot pinpoint.
"The break has been emptying into the sewer system. That doesn't normally happen. It's like a perfect storm, where you have a amount of water going into the sewer system and ending up at the treatment plant instead of boiling up where you can see it," explained Mabie.
The city's main water tower, which holds 250,000 gallons, was drained overnight. That created another problem. The fluctuation in water pressure cracked a service pipe leading into the town fire hall. And both the Clark County Courthouse and Neillsville schools were kept closed Friday while crews kept working.
"What they've been doing is isolating areas and trying to find out where to dig to see if they can locate that break that's causing the draw down in the water tower," Mabie said.
A boil advisory has been issued by the DNR and for the time being, the mayor is asking for help from city residents.
"We would like to have them conserve water if at all possible, because of the fact that it's been a drain on our wells."
The public works director says they've called in a leak detection team from the Minneapolis – St. Paul area to help identify the two remaining breaks.