DRINKING WATER ADVISORY: DC Water Issues Boil Water Advisory for All Customers in the District of Columbia, the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and Reagan National Airport

July 03, 2024

The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) issued a Boil Water Advisory today for all customers in the District of Columbia, as well as the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and Reagan National Airport, due to a drop in water supply from the Washington Aqueduct. This is a precautionary notice to all customers to boil water that may be ingested due to water of unknown quality. Customer should not drink the water without boiling it first. This advisory will remain in place until follow-up testing confirms the water is safe to drink.

Customers should:

•    Discard any beverages and ice made after 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, 2024.
•    Run cold water 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 
•    Washing dishes by hand
•    Giving water to pets

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

What happened (Background)
On Wednesday, July 3, 2024, DC Water was notified by the Army Corps of Engineers Washington Aqueduct that due to turbidity the Dalecarlia Water Treatment Plant reduced production and all water treatment operations were being conducted at the McMillan Treatment Plant. The current water treatment must be adjusted to meet current water demand for all our customers. To ensure there is enough water for firefighting activities, the Aqueduct resumed pumping water from the Dalecarlia Treatment Plant Wednesday evening. We anticipate the water could have increased turbidity and therefore providing this cautionary boil water advisory.

Turbidity as a measure of the cloudiness of water as described by the EPA. It is used to indicate water quality and filtration effectiveness (such as whether disease-causing organisms are present).

Turbidity has no health effects. However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches. They may pose a greater health risk for infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems. 

The symptoms above are not only caused 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 we issue this advisory as a precaution while we test the water.  We will update you when the water supply has returned to normal production and meets water quality standards. 

Please share this information with all 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.

Customers with questions can contact DC Water Customer Service at (202) 354-3600 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or the 24-Hour Command Center at 202-612-3400.

Information is also available at www.dcwater.com and Bilingual FAQs are provided at www.dcwater.com/boilwaterFAQ.

Este aviso y más información están también disponibles en www.dcwater.com y preguntas frecuentes bilingües se encuentran en www.dcwater.com/boilwaterFAQ

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