Boil water advisory issued for all of DC, Arlington County

DC and Arlington County issued a boil water advisory late Wednesday night that effectively applies to both jurisdictions.

DC and Arlington County issued a boil water advisory late Wednesday night that effectively applies to both jurisdictions.

Of all the customers living in DC and Arlington, only those in the Willston High Pressure Zone, a small section of Arlington that borders Fairfax County near the intersection of McKinley Road and Wilson Boulevard, are unaffected.

“This is a precautionary measure for all customers to boil water that may be ingested due to water of unknown quality. Customers should not drink the water without boiling it first. This advisory will remain in effect until further testing confirms the water is safe to drink,” DC Water said in its advisory, and the same message applies to people in Arlington.

Arlington issued its own advisory shortly after DC, stating, “Higher levels of turbidity have been observed in water held at the Aqueduct, which originates from the Potomac River and also serves the District of Columbia. Customers may notice that their water appears cloudy or hazy.”

The high level of turbidity — the amount of visible particles in tap water — can affect “the effectiveness of the water purification process,” the province wrote in the statement.

“The advisory was issued out of an abundance of caution as treatment processes at the Aqueduct, which is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, are being expanded.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told DC Water that they were having problems with increased turbidity in their waters, which was caused by an increase in algae blooms in the source of our water: the Potomac River.

DC Water spokesman John Lisle told WTOP the advisory was lifted as a precaution to give firefighters access to water, especially on a high-profile holiday like the Fourth of July, and to ensure enough water could be flushed from the system.

“Turbidity can be a sign of a fault, an indicator of (poor) water quality, and so it was decided that it was safest to issue the boil advisory,” Lisle said.

US ACE said Washington Aqueduct staff will continue to closely monitor water levels and work with its wholesale customers, the EPA, and local and state agencies.

DC Water said all customers should throw away any drinks and ice made after 9 p.m. Wednesday.

All customers are advised to run cold water, bring the water to a boil for at least one minute, and allow it to cool before drinking it, using it to brush their teeth, prepare food, wash food, prepare baby formula, make ice, wash dishes, or feed to their pets.

DC Water warns against using water filters in the home instead of boiling water.

This story is developing. Stay tuned to WTOP for the latest details.

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