A water main break in Danbury continues to cause issues for a section of the city, including Western Connecticut State University, on Wednesday.
The school, which has also been dealing with cases of norovirus that are now contained, told students on Tuesday that the break made campus water unsafe for use. The norovirus affected about 150 students on campus.
“It’s just interesting to see how an infection can really affect a lot of things and how it's nice to see that the campus is trying really hard to see no one else gets sick," said Nyilah Norton, a WCSU freshman.
Just before 8 a.m. on Wednesday, however, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said water pressure was restored to the entire city. Some restrictions still apply.
"Please boil water before using if you are on city water," Boughton reported on social media. "Showering is fine. Use bottled water for brushing your teeth. Requirement on boiling water should be lifted by [Thursday]."
Boughton said a special part valve in Buffalo, NY was flown in on a private plane to help with the repairs.
The break was unrelated to the norovirus issue; however, students were told that it was important to wash their hands to avoid the virus because hand sanitizer is largely ineffective against it. Because of the break, they initially couldn't do that.
It was a lot for students to deal with all at once.
"None of us want to get sick," said Trevor Knight, a WCSU junior. "Personally I know like eight people who got sick."
Later in the day on Tuesday, the state Department of Public Health declared tap water unsafe for use until it's completely fixed.
"Do not drink, wash your hands or brush your teeth with water from any faucet on the midtown campus," the school said in a statement to students. "Classes and other operations will continue, but the university is distributing bottled water throughout midtown for drinking, hand washing and other health uses."
WCSU provided additional shuttles over to the O'Neill Center on the westside of campus for students to shower.
"We put bottled water in every bathroom we’ve put extra hand sanitizers to use after you’ve used bottled water," said Paul Steinmetz, university spokesperson. "It’s very inconvenient, but it will keep people safe and healthy.”
The micromarket opened at 7 a.m. so students on the midtown side can get breakfast.
The water main break also affected Danbury Hospital and other health care facilities.
The DPH distributed bottled water to those locations and said it is working on disinfecting them.
WCSU said it has not yet determined the source of the norovirus outbreak.
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