Boil Water Advisory

Boil Water Advisory: DC Water Warns of Contamination Risk in Northeast

Residents in parts of Northeast D.C. should not use their tap water for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, making ice, watering pets or preparing food and infant formula until it is boiled

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A boil water advisory is in effect for parts of Northeast Washington, D.C., as a precaution due to the risk of bacterial contamination.

Elevated levels of E. coli or coliform bacteria are possible after a drop in water pressure, although testing hasn’t confirmed contamination, DC Water said.

Residents in affected areas should only ingest tap water after it’s been boiled for one minute or use bottled water. Only boiled tap water should be used for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, making ice, watering pets or preparing food and infant formula.

Neighborhoods at risk early Thursday include Brookland, Edgewood, Fort Lincoln, Michigan Park, North Michigan Park, Queens Chapel and Woodridge.

DC Boil Water Advisory Map

The area impacted is east of North Capitol Street, west of Eastern Avenue, south of New Hampshire Avenue and north of New York Avenue, DC Water said.

To see if your home, day care or workplace is affected, check your address using this map or call DC Water’s 24-Hour Command Center (202) 612-3400.

The area includes the Providence Health System, HSC Pediatric System, Howard University School of Divinity and some buildings on the Catholic University campus.

Along Monroe Street near Catholic University, a Potbelly Sandwich Shop temporarily closed due to the water problems, and employees at a nearby Starbucks wondered whether they would need to shut down early.

DC Water customers outside the area shown in red do not need to boil their water, officials say.

During a previous boil water advisory in 2018, D.C. officials said it is safe to shower and breastfeed.

To make sure tap water is safe, bring it to a roiling boil for one minute, then let it cool. A home filtering device is not suitable for this purpose, DC Water said.

News4's Aimee Cho explains what to do to make sure you stay healthy during the boil water advisory affecting a large part of D.C.

DC Water said residents of the affected area should also:

  • 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.
  • Store cooled water in a clean, covered container.

Here's an FAQ with more information from DC Water.

Crews repairing a pipe leak near 13th Street and Spring Road NW Wednesday afternoon closed valves, then some customers reported a loss of water pressure. The pressure was restored within an hour, DC Water said.

The loss of pressure may have allowed “bacteria or other disease-causing organisms” to enter pipes. At this point, no water has been shown to be unsafe, DC Water said.

“We have no information that the water was contaminated by this incident, but issue this advisory as a precaution while we test the water,” DC Water said.

DC Water will continue testing for two days, then anticipates normal water use can resume Saturday.

"The advisory will be lifted when tests on two consecutive days show no bacteria are present," DC Water said.

Bacteria or other contaminants could cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms, and pose a greater risk or babies, young children, some elderly people and people with severely compromised immune systems, DC Water said. If you feel sick and symptoms persist, call a doctor.

D.C. previously was under a boil water advisory in July 2018 that affected a large area and an estimated 34,000 DC Water customers. The advisory was lifted after two days.

Stay with News4 for more on this developing story

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