MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — State health officials are sampling water at several buildings in downtown Minneapolis to make sure it’s safe following Thursday’s massive water main break.

The water’s been turned off since a construction accident broke a 36-inch pipe and spewed 14 million gallons of water into streets, parking ramps and buildings.

Stew Thornley, who heads the drinking water division at the Minnesota Health Department, says engineers are testing the water for bacterial and other forms of contamination.

“Before that water gets turned back on — which maybe could be tomorrow,  Saturday — depending on how long it takes to run the samples and get results, we’ll make sure that water is safe before it gets turned back on,” Thornley said.

Health department staffers are handing out flyers in a three-block area to notify tenants their water is being tested for safety.

Mayor R.T. Rybak says the water already has been determined safe at other buildings in the area affected by water main break.

As of 10 a.m., these streets remained closed in downtown Minneapolis:

• Hennepin Avenue from 1st Street North to Washington Avenue
• 2nd Street North from Hennepin Avenue to 1st Avenue North
• 1st Street South from Hennepin Avenue to Marquette Avenue
• West River Parkway from 4th Avenue North to Portland Avenue South


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