Broken pipe puts much of a city under boil-water advisory

DAYTON, Ohio — A water line broke in one of Ohio's largest cities Thursday, forcing some 100,000 customers to boil their water, closing schools and disrupting diners' Valentine's Day plans.

Crews located the leak early Thursday under the Great Miami River and were working to repair it. There was no word on what caused the break.

As many as 400,000 people initially lost water altogether before authorities located the leak. Distribution sites for bottled water were set up around the city.

Nine of the 16 public school districts in Montgomery County, which encompasses Dayton, closed for the day because of the water system outages and boil advisories.

State environmental officials said they were providing oversight and help with technical issues to the city and making sure state drinking water regulations were followed.

County officials estimated Thursday afternoon that 15,000 to 20,000 customers were under a warning to boil their water before using it. A customer means one business or household, so thousands more people likely were affected.

Dayton officials estimated 75,000 people were under the advisory.

Dayton's water quality laboratory was collecting water quality samples for testing and expected the first results to be available in 24-48 hours, city spokeswoman Toni Bankson said.

Searchable city and county maps were posted online so customers could check whether they were under the advisory.

Private housing in the sprawling Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton was initially affected, spokesman Daryl Mayer said, but got the all-0clear early Thursday afternoon.

Some restaurants were closed, but those in unaffected areas said they were ready for Valentine's Day visitors.

Archer's Tavern in suburban Kettering notified customers it was outside the boil alert boundaries, but added: "Just in case you are still nervous about the drinking water, our beer, wine and spirits are 100 percent safe to drink without concern of contamination ... Be Safe-Drink Beer!"

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