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40,000 households affected after water main bursts in southwest Finland

Authorities have pinpointed the leak but did not know when it would be fixed. Thousands of Naantali and Raisio customers had no tap water on Monday.

Vettä valuu vesihanasta.
File photo. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

A leak in a major water main has cut the water supply to some 40,000 households in the southwest towns of Naantali and Raisio.

Raisio civil engineer Marika Nurmiko said that a major water main supplying water to customers in Raisio and Naantali burst on Monday. Workers have located the broken pipe, but as of late Monday afternoon officials were still unsure about when the problem would be fixed.

When functioning correctly, the affected water main keeps the local water tower topped up. But because the cistern's water level is so low, there is inadequate pressure to provide water to a major parts of Raisio and Naantali, according to Aki Artimo, the managing director at Turku Region Water.

Artimo said that residents in the affected towns should conserve water as much as possible, saying that water can still be used for the most necessary things, but encouraged people to not use it unnecessarily.

Unclear whether boiling is needed

Artimo noted that as water pressure drops, there is an increased risk of the water becoming contaminated as it moves in the pipeline.

By early Monday evening health officials in Naantali and Raisio had not yet issued instructions for residents to boil their tap water.

"There is an increased risk for contamination but (the water department) does not issue such advisories, (health) authorities do," Artimo.

As a precautionary measure, however, water to be used in food preparation or for drinking can be boiled for five to 10 minutes before use.

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