A boil water advisory in effect for the city of Charlevoix and officials are warning it could last through Saturday.
City officials reported a loss of pressure in the distribution system around 5 a.m. Wednesday and alerted residents to the health concern.
An investigation revealed a crack in a water pipe under Round Lake and storm damage at the water plant caused Charlevoix's water problems. The City of Charlevoix suspects a lightning strike caused a malfunction at the water plant, allowing the pressure to drop.
"We are now we pressurizing the system, but we did issue the water boil advisory in that will be in effect until our bacterial tests come back in a good fashion," said Jim Elliott Charlevoix Public Works Superintendent.
Until the issue is fixed, area restaurants are being forced to boil hundreds of gallons of water to keep doors open for business.
Charlevoix Area Hospital also put an emergency plan into place, deciding to postpone all surgeries for the day.
Hospital officials distributed bottled water to all patient areas as well as to visitors within the hospital. Precautions have been taken around the hospital including: signage on all sinks, drinking fountains and the cafeteria is using bottled water for all drinks, ice, food preparation and clean-up.
Health officials say water should be boiled for at least one minute and let it cool before using it.
Residents are urged to use either bottled water or boiled water for drinking and food preparation. The use of hand sanitizer rather than water for washing hands is recommended. City water can still be used for showering and laundry.
"Try to conserve bottled water and use boiled water as much as possible, said John McDonald, Supply Director at Charlevoix Area Hospital. "If you need to purchase more bottled water, try to purchase water in the surrounding cities, if possible. This will help conserve the local supply of water."
For some additional tips on water boil orders click here