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Boil Water Advisory

  • No, DC Water conducted water testing at multiple sites in the impact area and results confirm that the drinking water is safe and meets water quality standards.
  • It is no longer necessary to boil tap water or consume bottled water. 
  • Customers may use tap water for all purposes, including cooking and drinking, after following the precautionary measures below.
  • Determine if you live in the reduced impact area by visiting the interactive map on dcwater.com, or calling the 24-Hour Command Center at (202) 612-3400.
  • Run your cold water taps for 10 minutes if you did not use water during the advisory to replace water sitting in pipes with fresh water from the main. Water quality can decline when it sits for extended periods of time in pipes. If you used water consistently to flush the toilet, shower, or wash your hands, this action is precautionary, not necessary.
  • Discard any food or ice prepared with water that was not boiled between 8:30 p.m. on July 12 and 8:30 a.m., on July 15, 2018
  • Consult the owner’s manual to find out how to sanitize appliances and home filtration systems if used during the advisory.
  • DC Water issues advisories to protect public health when there is a water quality risk.
  • A loss of pressure in the pipe system due to an open valve at Bryant Street Pumping Station occurred at 8:30 p.m. on July 12.
  • The loss in pressure prompted DC Water to issue the advisory for the impact area until water quality testing confirmed the safety of the drinking water.
  • A pressure change increases the potential for contaminants to enter the water system.
  • Although the chance of contamination is slim, we err on the side of caution and issue the advisory until we can confirm that water quality is not compromised.
  • The impact area is based on elevation, so if customers were below the elevation that we established as safe, they were not at risk for any water quality impact.
  • Elevation varies significantly throughout the city and DC Water used conservative elevation boundaries to determine the area of impact.
  • Coliform bacteria are everywhere. They are present in the environment, soil, humans and animals.
  • Coliform are mostly harmless and unlikely to cause illness, however, their presence in drinking water indicates that disease-causing organisms could be present, most significantly, E.coli bacteria.
  • On July 14, DC Water received one positive test from a sampling hydrant that detected total coliform. The coliform was not E.coli. The advisory continued while DC Water took corrective action and continued testing.
  • On July 15, subsequent testing did not detect the presence of any coliform bacteria contamination, and confirmed drinking water and the distribution system are. The advisory was lifted for all customers at 8:30 a.m.

For more information about coliform, visit: 

https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/revised-total-coliform-rule-and-total-coliform-rule

 

 

  • We have not received any reports of illness due to the drinking water during the advisory.
  • As always, if you experience unexpected illness, please consult your healthcare provider.

 

 

 

  • DC Water Drinking Water Division: 202-612-3440 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
  • DC Water Customer Service: 202-354-3600 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • DC Water 24-Hour Command Center: 202-612-3400
  • www.dcwater.com/emergencies

 

  • Fill a pot with water.
  • Heat the water until bubbles come from the bottom of the pot to the top.
  • Once the water reaches a rolling boil, let it boil for 3 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat source and let the water cool.
  • Pour water into a clean container with a cover for storage.

If tap water is clear:

  • Use bleach that does not have an added scent (like lemon).
  • Add 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops or about 0.75 milliliters) of household liquid bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water.
  • Mix well and wait 30 minutes or more before drinking.
  • Store disinfected water in a clean contain with a cover.

If tap water is cloudy:

  • Filter through a clean cloth
  • Use bleach that does not have an added scent (like lemon).
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon (16 drops or 1.5 milliliters) of household liquid bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water.
  • Mix well and wait 30 minutes or more before drinking.
  • Store disinfected water in a clean container with a cover.

Remember that containers may need to be sanitized before using them to store safe water:

  • Use bleach that does not have an added scent (like lemon).
  • Add 1 teaspoon (64 drops or 5 milliliters) of household liquid bleach to 1 quart (32 ounces, 4 cups, or about 1 liter) of water.
  • Pour this into a clean storage container and shake well, making sure that the solution coats the entire inside of the container.
  • Let sit at least 30 seconds, and then pour out solution.
  • Let air dry OR rinse with clean water that has already been made safe, if available.
  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners. Open windows and doors to get fresh air when you use bleach.
  • You may choose to use bottled water if it is available.

To improve the taste you can:

  • Pour cooled water back and forth from one clean glass into another to add air to the water.
  • Let the water stand for a few hours.
  • Add a pinch of salt to each quart of boiled water.

Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water lines. This includes water and ice dispensers in your refrigerator/freezer.

  • Use boiled or bottled water to make coffee and ice.
  • Filters do not remove or kill bacteria or viruses.
  • When the boil water advisory is lifted, consult the owner’s manual and sanitize appliances.
  • Do not use ice from ice trays, ice dispensers, or ice makers.
  • Throw out all ice made with tap water.
  • Make new ice with boiled or bottled water.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables with cooled, boiled water or bottled water.
  • Bring water to a rolling boil for one minute before adding food to cook.
  • Use boiled water when preparing drinks, such as coffee, tea, and lemonade.
  • Wash food preparation surfaces with boiled water.
  • Breastfeeding is best. Continue to breastfeed. If breastfeeding is not an option:
  • Use ready-to-use formula, if possible.
  • Prepare powdered or concentrated formula with bottled water. Use boiled water if you do not have bottled water. Disinfect water for formula if you cannot boil your water (see above for directions on how to use bleach to disinfect water).
  • Wash and sterilize bottles and nipples before use.
  • If you cannot sterilize bottles, try to use single-serve, ready-to-feed bottles.
  • Dishwashers are safe to use if the water reaches a temperature of at least 160°F or if the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle.

To wash dishes by hand:

  • Wash and rinse the dishes as normal using hot water.
  • In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household bleach for each gallon of warm water.
  • Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least 1 minute.
  • Let the dishes air dry completely.

Most people who drink this water will not get sick. If you do get sick, the symptoms are similar to food poisoning: nausea, diarrhea, cramps, and possibly a mild fever.

The most important thing to do is avoid dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid drinks with caffeine, such as soda, coffee, and tea. If you are concerned about your health or the health of a family member, contact your health care provider.

Pets can get some of the same diseases as people. It is a good idea to give them boiled water that has been cooled.

Most germs that infect people do not infect reptiles or fish. If your water system is using more chlorine or changing disinfection, be cautious about changing the water in your fish tank or aquarium. Contact your local pet store or veterinarian for more advice.

You can use tap water for household plants and gardens.

No. Do not use tap water to brush your teeth. Use boiled or bottled water.

Yes, it is safe to take a bath or shower, but be careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing infants and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.

Yes, you can shave as usual.

Yes, it is safe to do laundry as usual.

DC Water Customer Service: 202-354-3600

DC Water 24-Hour Command Center: 202-612-3400           

www.dcwater.com/emergencies

Additional Resources

Personal Water Use: CDC provides guidance on the amount of water needed for good health, as well as its preparation and storage in preparation for and during an emergency.

Hygiene and Sanitation: CDC provides guidance on alternative hygienic practices when water is not available or is contaminated.

EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 1-800-426-4791

Consumer Information: EPA provides information and guidance about drinking water quality, emergencies, contaminants, public health issues, and treatment and storage.

  • Llene una olla con agua fría.
  • Caliente el agua hasta que se formen burbujas desde el fondo de la olla.
  • Una vez que el agua llegue a hervir con fuerza, deje que hierva así durante tres minutos.
  • Apague la fuente de calor y deje que el agua se enfríe.
  • Para guardar el agua, vacíela en un recipiente limpio que tenga tapa.

Si el agua de la llave está transparente:

  • Use blanqueador de cloro al que no se le haya añadido aromatizante (como olor a limón).
  • Agregue 1/8 de cucharadita (8 gotas o aproximadamente 0.75 mililitros) de blanqueador de cloro para uso doméstico a 1 galón (16 tazas) de agua.
  • Mezcle bien y espere 30 minutos o más antes de beber el agua.
  • Guarde el agua desinfectada en un recipiente limpio que tenga tapa.

Si el agua de la llave está transparente:

  • Use blanqueador de cloro al que no se le haya añadido aromatizante (como olor a limón).
  • Agregue 1/8 de cucharadita (8 gotas o aproximadamente 0.75 mililitros) de blanqueador de cloro para uso doméstico a 1 galón (16 tazas) de agua.
  • Mezcle bien y espere 30 minutos o más antes de beber el agua.
  • Guarde el agua desinfectada en un recipiente limpio que tenga tapa.

Si el agua de la llave está turbia:

  • Filtre el agua con un trapo limpio.
  • Use blanqueador de cloro al que no se le haya añadido aromatizante (como olor a limón).
  • Agregue 1/4 de cucharadita (16 gotas o aproximadamente 1.5 mililitros) de blanqueador de cloro para uso doméstico a 1 galón (16 tazas) de agua.
  • Mezcle bien y espere 30 minutos o más antes de beber el agua.
  • Guarde el agua desinfectada en un recipiente limpio que tenga tapa.

Recuerde que es posible que deba desinfectar los envases antes de usarlos para almacenar agua adecuada para beber:

  • Use blanqueador de cloro al que no se le haya añadido aromatizante (como olor a limón).
  • Agregue 1 cucharadita (64 gotas o 5 mililitros) de blanqueador de cloro para uso doméstico a 1 cuarto de galón (32 oz, 4 tazas, o aproximadamente 1 litro) de agua.
  • Ponga esta solución en un envase limpio y agite bien, asegurándose de que la solución haga contacto con todo el interior del envase.
  • Deje esta solución en el envase por lo menos durante 30 segundos, y luego vacíe el envase.
  • Deje que el envase se seque al aire o enjuáguelo con agua que ya haya desinfectado, si es que la tiene.
  • Nunca mezcle blanqueador de cloro con amoniaco o con algún otro tipo de producto de limpieza.
  • Abra las ventanas y las puertas cuando use blanqueador de cloro para que entre el aire fresco.

Hierva el agua de la llave, incluso si está filtrada. Los filtros de agua no eliminan las bacterias ni los virus.

 

Puede elegir beber agua embotellada si está disponible.

  • Lave todas las frutas y las verduras con agua hervida.
  • Deje hervir bien el agua durante un minuto antes de agregarle los alimentos.
  • Prepare bebidas como café, té o limonada con agua hervida.

Lo mejor es amamantar. Continúe amamantando al bebé. Si amamantar no es posible:

  • De ser posible use leche preparada para lactantes ya lista para usarse.
  • Use agua embotellada para preparar leche para lactantes en polvo o concentrada. Si no tiene agua embotellada, use agua hervida. Si no puede hervir el agua, desinfecte el agua que usará para la leche preparada para lactantes siguiendo las instrucciones mencionadas anteriormente sobre la forma de usar blanqueador).
  • Recuerde que debe esterilizar las botellas y los chupones antes de usarlos.
  • Si no puede esterilizar las botellas, trate de usar botellas listas para usar y no reciclables (que se puedan usar solo una vez).
  • No use hielo del fabricador de cubitos de hielo ni del recipiente de hielo del congelador.
  • Deseche todo el hielo que haya hecho con agua de la llave.
  • Haga hielo nuevo con agua hervida o embotellada.

Debe tener cuidado de no tragar agua al bañarse en la tina o la regadera.

Tenga cuidado al bañar a bebés y a niños pequeños. Considere darles baños de esponja para evitar que traguen agua.

Para lavarse los dientes use agua hervida o embotellada.

DC Water Customer Service: 202-354-3600

DC Water 24-Hour Command Center: 202-612-3400

www.dcwater.com/emergencies