Swamp Alert: D.C. Issues Boil Water Advisory for Northeast Neighborhoods

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY KATHARYN GILLAM "US-ENVIRONMENT-CLIMATE-ENERGY-COP21-ELECTRICITY" A huge tank full of wastewater is seen at DC Water's Blue Plains plant in Washington, DC, on November 23, 2015. The plant treats 370 million gallons (1,400 million liters) of dirty water from more than two million households on a …
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A drop in water pressure in the D.C. Water system could have allowed contaminants such as E. Coli to seep into the water supply, so officials have issued a boil water advisory for several Northeastern neighborhoods.

D.C. Water posted a map of the affected area, which includes Brookland, Edgewood, Fort Lincoln, Michigan Park, North Michigan Park, Queens Chapel, and Woodridge.

Residents of those neighborhoods are being told to only drink tap water that has been boiled for one minute. This includes water being used for cooking, teeth brushing, water used with infant formula, and water for pets.

DC Water

This map illustrates where the D.C. boil advisory is in place. (DC Water)

The local NBC affiliate in D.C. reported on the development:

The area includes the Providence Health System, HSC Pediatric System, Howard University School of Divinity and some buildings on the Catholic University campus. A home filtering device is not suitable for this purpose, DC Water said.

D.C. Water said residents of the affected area should also:

  • Discard any beverages and ice made before and during this advisory.

  • Run cold water until clear (if discolored) prior to boiling.

  • Run cold water for 2 minutes if known sources of lead are present prior to boiling.

  • Store cooled water in a clean, covered container.

Contamination could have occurred when a crew was repairing a pipe leak near 13th Street and Spring Road NW on Wednesday afternoon, and some residents reported a loss of water pressure. The pressure was restored, but the boil water alert was put in place because a lack of pressure can allow contaminants to seep into the water supply.

“We have no information that the water was contaminated by this incident, but issue this advisory as a precaution while we test the water,” DC Water said in the NBC report.

The advisory is expected to be lifted by Saturday, according to officials.

“Bacteria or other contaminants could cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms, and pose a greater risk or babies, young children, some elderly people and people with severely compromised immune systems, DC Water said,” NBC reported.

DC Water’s 24-Hour Command Center phone number is (202) 612-3400. You can also visit the FAQ portion of the D.C. Water website here.

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