Northwest Residents Told Not to Drink the Water

Chlorine spike blamed

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority lifted its advisory Tuesday afternoon.

    Residents of a large swath of northwest D.C. were advised Tuesday morning not to drink or use tap water until further notice, but the area of the original warning was later reduced. There was concern about too much chlorine in the water in the following area (click here for map):

    • West Boundary: Western Avenue, NW
    • North Boundary: River Road, NW
    • East Boundary: Connecticut Avenue, NW
    • South Boundary Nebraska Avenue, NW

    The chlorine spike happened at about 5 a.m. when the unmanned Fort Reno facility was offline for routine maintenance disinfection, according to the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA).

    At 7:30 a.m., operators at WASA’s Bryant Street Pump Station identified a drop in the reservoir at Fort Reno, which indicated the possibility of a chlorine spike. WASA dispatched inspectors who confirmed a higher-than-normal chlorine concentration in the water, officials said.

    After hours of comprehensive testing, WASA determined the water in the area is now safe for drinking, cooking, bathing and cleaning.

    WASA recommended discarding any food or ice prepared with water in the advisory area between 5 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, including baby formula. Faucets and taps should be flushed for 10 minutes.

    Customers who used water with excess chlorine may have noticed problems with the taste or smell. It is possible but unlikely that people with sensitive skin could also develop reactions to the chlorine, WASA officials said. Anyone who notices a problem should call a doctor.

    "There should be no health problems beyond skin reaction in sensitive individuals," said WASA's Alan Heymann.

    For more information, you can call WASA’s 24-hour Emergency Center at 202-612-3400.