St. John Broken Arrow Hospital, city's restaurants close due to continued water issues, boil order

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - UPDATE: Test results have shown Broken Arrow's water supply is free of contaminants and City Manager Thom Moton has declared the water emergency over.  See more here -- http://bit.ly/11Bvb33.

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BROKEN ARROW, Okla. -- Water woes in Broken Arrow shut down not only the city's restaurants Wednesday but also the city's hospital.

Joy McGill, spokeswoman for St. John Health System, said Wednesday "potential water contamination issues" after a substantial water line break forced St. John Broken Arrow Hospital to discontinue operations until further notice. Thirteen patients were transferred to other St. John facilities by Wednesday afternoon.

Since Tuesday's break and subsequent water shortage, patients and staff used bottled water and a backup water supply.

RELATED: Restaurant owners say shutdown is costing them thousands of dollars (http://bit.ly/1a5eTpQ)

All Broken Arrow restaurants that serve open food were forced to cease operations Wednesday, according to the Tulsa Health Department.  Tuesday's water main break reduced the city's water supply so significantly health department officials say restaurants can't safely operate.

According to the health department, retail food establishments selling pre-packaged food could continue to sell those items; however, fountain and drink service were discontinued until after the boil order was lifted.

RELATED: Boil order remains in effect after BA water line break (http://bit.ly/11H5BN2)

In an emergency city council meeting Wednesday afternoon, Broken Arrow officials said there was no positive indication bacteria was in the water -- the boil order was a precaution.  Officials said the order would not be lifted until at least Thursday afternoon, despite the break having been repaired. (UPDATE: Water emergency over as results show supply free of contaminants -- http://bit.ly/11Bvb33)

While the boil order was in effect, the city's water plant operators added additional chlorine to the water before distributing it into the water system, said city spokeswoman Stephanie Higgins in an emailed statement.

RELATED: Repairs made to Broken Arrow water main break (http://bit.ly/18t5slQ)

The health department said after the boil order was lifted restaurants must flush their water system, discard previous ice supplies and sanitize all food contact equipment.

Water customers were asked to conserve water until the system recovered. A temporary outdoor watering ban was issued Wednesday but lifted Thursday morning after the supply improved overnight.  Violators caught watering overnight risked a $500 fine.

Officials said the main that broke is more than 30 years old and is 10 to 12 feet underground.

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