St. LOUIS — A broken water main west of downtown St. Louis flooded at least one parking garage and led the St. Louis Water Division to issue a boil advisory early Friday for much of the city.

Curtis Skouby, the city’s director of public utilities, told the Post-Dispatch that about 30,000 people are impacted by the advisory. It could be lifted as early as Saturday morning, when tests should come back showing if there is any bacterial contamination in the water, Skouby said.

Officials on Friday said the Water Division hasn’t found any contamination in the water supply, and the advisory was issued as a precaution.

The 36-inch water main broke at North 13th Street and Lucas Avenue in the Downtown West neighborhood.

Mike Booker was out Friday morning showing an insurance agent the damage on his car, which was in a flooded parking garage of a loft near the main break.

Booker owns his loft and said this is the second time his car has been flooded due to a water main break in two years.

“Things have deteriorated,” Booker said. “Most people don’t even feel like they can get their money back.”

Water main break floods downtown St. Louis

Mike Booker shows an insurance agent the damage on his car after a water main break floods the parking garage to his loft on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, near North 13th Street & Lucas Avenue in downtown St. Louis. Booker owns his loft and said this is the second time his car has been flooded due to a water main break in two years. "Things have deteriorated," Booker said. "Most people don't even feel like they can get their money back." Photo by Christine Tannous, ctannous@post-dispatch.com

Because of a drop in water pressure, the city cautioned some residents in a large swath of downtown and beyond to boil water before consuming it. Neighborhoods affected by Friday’s boil advisory are:

• St. Louis Place, Old North St. Louis, Carr Square and Columbus Square

• Downtown and Downtown West

• Peabody-Darst-Webbe, LaSalle Park, Soulard and Kosciusko

A boil advisory means customers should boil water vigorously for three minutes before using it for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth. Ice cubes from an automatic ice machine should be thrown away. Other information about a boil advisory can be found here.

Boil advisory

A big swath of the city is within the boundaries for the boil advisory, an area that stretches about five miles from roughly Palm Street on the near north side to the city’s southernmost tip south of South Broadway.

The western border cuts along Jefferson Avenue, South 18th Street, Interstate 55 and Cherokee Street. The Mississippi River runs along the east.

For details on the boundaries of the area impacted, go to this map.

Water main break floods downtown St. Louis

City of St. Louis Water Division workers continue construction after a water main break floods St. Louis on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, on Market Street. There was a second break at North 13th Street & Lucas Avenue. Several underground parking garages flooded due to the break, leaving damaged cars. Photo by Christine Tannous, ctannous@post-dispatch.com

The same thing happened in May 2021 when a water main burst just west of downtown, sending water gushing along Lucas Avenue and North Tucker Boulevard. The flooding swamped basements, shut down businesses and triggered a boil advisory.

In the 2021 incident, water entered the basements of some lofts along Lucas and Washington avenues, and dozens of vehicles in the basement of a parking garage were inundated by high water.

The boil advisory in May 2021 affected a smaller area of the city, going only as far south as Chouteau Avenue and as far east as I-70 and I-44.

Kim Bell, Christine Tannous and Dana Rieck contributed to this story.

Originally published on stltoday.com, part of the TownNews Content Exchange.