Boil Water Advisory Issued for Customers in Upper Northwest D.C., west of Rock Creek Park

November 09, 2019

**Updated November 9, 6:00 a.m.

As residents wake up this morning, DC Water reminds those who are under a boil water advisory to continue to boil their water or use an alternate water source. The boil water advisory was issued yesterday morning for approximately 6,000 customers in Upper Northwest DC.  Please see the full advisory below:

**Updated November 8; 5:00 p.m.

Customers in Northwest DC who are under a boil water advisory should continue to boil their water or use an alternate source. The first round of water samples is undergoing laboratory testing tonight. The second samples will be taken tomorrow and sent to the laboratory. Sunday November 10 is the earliest the advisory would be lifted. Please see the full advisory below. 

**Updated November 8, 11:10 AM**

The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) advises customers to not drink or cook with their water without boiling it first if they are in the defined impact area.

Customers should visit the interactive map at or call the 24-Hour Command Center at (202) 612-3400 to determine if they are in the current impact area

Customers not located in the impacted area do not need to boil water and can continue normal water use.

Customers in the impact area should:

  • Discard any beverages and ice made 8 hours 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.
  • Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute and let it cool.
  • Store cooled water in a clean, covered container.

Cooled, boiled water or bottled water should be used for:

  • Drinking
  • Brushing teeth
  • Preparing and cooking food
  • Washing fruits and vegetables
  • Preparing infant formula
  • Making ice
  • Giving water to pets

*Do not use home filtering devices in place of boiled or bottled water.

Early this morning, Friday, November 8, 2019, a water main break in Arlington, Virginia caused a loss of pressure in the distribution system in upper Northwest DC, west of Rock Creek Park. Both the District and Arlington County, Virginia receive water from the Dalecarlia Water Treatment Plant. Arlington responded to the break and pressure was restored. The lack of pressure made it possible for bacteria or other disease-causing organisms to enter the water through cracks, breaks or joints in the distribution system.

Bacteria and other disease-causing contamination such as viruses and parasites can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems.

The symptoms above are not caused only by microbes in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.

We have no information that the water was contaminated by this incident, but issue this advisory as a precaution while we test the water.  Our Water Quality staff are sampling and testing the water and crews are flushing the distribution system with clean water to get rid of potentially contaminated water in the distribution system. We anticipate receiving the sampling test results from the laboratory by the afternoon of November 9. A second sampling to confirm water safety will be conducted. The earliest we will lift the advisory is Sunday, November 10. 

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

Questions regarding the water main break can be directed to Arlington Water at (817) 459-5900. Customers with water quality questions should contact the Department of Water Quality at (202) 612-3440 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). All other questions should be directed to DC Water Customer Service at (202) 354-3600 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), the 24-Hour Command Center at 202-612-3400 or the Office of Marketing and Communications at (202) 787-2200 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Information is also available at and Bilingual FAQs are provided at

Este aviso y más información están también disponibles en, y preguntas frecuentes bilingües se encuentran en