The Town of Shoshoni anticipates full water service by early next week after a major water main break two days ago, its mayor said  Thursday.

The water system may be fully operational by Monday or Tuesday, but it could take longer, Joel Highsmith said.

Meanwhile, the residents still need to boil their water and the Walmart in Riverton has been donating bottled water to the school, he said.

Thawing frost apparently broke a 10-inch water main, and was first noticed by a convenience store clerk at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, Highsmith said.

The town's director of public works and the Environmental Protection Agency were immediately notified, he said.

The break drained the town's water tank, which was refilled after the water main was repaired and residents can get water from their taps, Highsmith said.

However, the drainage of the tank, and the resulting back pressure caused the movement of water from outside the pipe to inside the pipe, and that could have brought in polluted water.

As such, the 650-resident town remains under an order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that residents should boil their water for three minutes to kill any bacteria, Highsmith said. The order will remain in effect until the EPA lifts it, he added.

In the meantime, the town is monitoring the chlorine levels in the water and will be testing the bacteria levels, Highsmith said.

Because a boil order would be impractical at the K-12 school, the Walmart in Riverton has been donating bottled water for the students and the staff, he added.

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