*UPDATE* Boil Water Advisory Continues for DC Water Customers in Some Northeast Neighborhoods
August 06, 2021
The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) advises customers in the impacted area to continue to boil tap water for cooking and drinking until tap water is confirmed safe. Customers should visit the interactive map or call the 24-Hour Command Center at (202) 612-3400 to determine if they are in the impacted area of this advisory. Customers outside this area do not need to boil tap water and can continue normal water use.
Customers in the impacted area should:
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
DC Water issued the Boil Water Advisory after a temporary loss of pressure in the late afternoon of August 4, 2021. On Thursday, August 5, DC Water collected water samples at 10 locations in the impacted area. Those samples were tested overnight and DC Water analyzed the results this morning. All of the samples were negative for E.coli, a harmful bacteria, and nine of the samples were negative for coliform bacteria. One of the samples tested positive for coliform bacteria. Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful, bacteria may be present.
The levels of residual chlorine in the distribution system near the sample site that tested positive for coliform bacteria were 3.0mg/l. This level of chlorine assures that the source of the bacteria was not widespread in the distribution system.
This advisory will remain in effect until we have two consecutive days of negative bacteria sample results to confirm water quality was not compromised in the impacted area of the Advisory and the water is safe.
Water quality scientists are conducting additional sampling and testing today to assess water safety, and crews are flushing the distribution system. The next round of sampling test results is expected Saturday morning, and DC Water will provide another update at that time. Following two consecutive days of negative bacteria sample results, DC Water will lift the current boil water advisory.
The impacted area includes the neighborhoods of Edgewood, Brookland, Brentwood, Fort Lincoln, Langdon, Riggs Park, Woodridge, Queens Chapel, Michigan Park and North Michigan Park. The impacted area is generally:
- East of North Capitol Street
- West of Eastern Avenue
- South of New Hampshire Avenue
- North of New York Avenue
Due to the loss of pressure in the system, it may have been 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 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.
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 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.).