Winslow residents living between 85 and 120 Benton Ave. remained under a boil-water order Tuesday as the Kennebec Water District awaits a second set of test results after a water main was damaged early Monday.

Initial test results Tuesday afternoon came back inconclusive, according to KWD officials. The district took more samples and will run another 24-hour analysis. Results are expected Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s discouraging for our customers not to have results, but we’re missing some information that’s critical for us to know if it’s safe,” Roger Crouse, Kennebec Water District general manager, said Tuesday afternoon. “So at this time, we’re asking people to continue boiling the water or use another source.”

Tap water runs brown Monday because of a damaged water main on Benton Avenue in Winslow. Photo courtesy of Ann Ball

A water main damaged early Monday forced the water district to investigate whether pipes could be contaminated, according to officials.

“Because of the nature of the break, we were worried there may be an issue of contamination in the pipe,” Crouse said. “Yesterday (Monday), we just weren’t certain, so we wanted to let everyone know.”

About a dozen customers’ connections were affected by the water main break. They were advised to boil all water for one minute — at a rolling boil — before drinking, making ice cubes, washing food, brushing teeth or any other activity during which water would be consumed. Some residents said they saw discolored or rusty-looking water, likely due to dirt or iron sediment in pipes.


Shortly after midnight, a contractor working Monday morning on the Benton Avenue sewer project was working near the water main. The contractor hit the main, causing the break.

KWD workers reportedly responded before 1 a.m., shutting off the water so the contractor could make the repair. The repair was completed between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday, allowing water to be turned back on.

“Unfortunately, subsequently there was a second break that was discovered that was a result of the first impact,” Crouse said. “A couple hours later, they had to reexcavate. That delayed things.”

KWD employees are expected to go door-to-door Wednesday afternoon to share the test results with affected customers.

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