[UPDATE] Precautionary Boil Water Notice Canceled for City Water Customers

By: City of Tallahassee Press Release
By: City of Tallahassee Press Release

[UPDATE] 1-15 5:06 PM

Cancellation of Precautionary Boil Water Notice

Water is Safe for Customers in Woodville/Wakulla County Areas

The City of Tallahassee is pleased to report that results from yesterday's water sampling efforts were satisfactory and thus the Precautionary Boil Water Notice for customers in the Woodville and Wakulla County areas, including the town of St. Marks, has been canceled. A vehicular accident Friday involving a fire hydrant in Woodville resulted in a loss of pressure in the line and although repairs were made quickly, customers in the affected area were advised to take precautionary steps in using water. Laboratory results received today indicate the water supply is safe and citizens no longer need to boil water.

Approximately 3,000 City water customers were affected by this incident. A precautionary notice was issued, per state Department of Environmental Protection direction, so customers could take remedial steps if they chose to. A mandatory boil water notice would indicate a far more serious concern, and in that case immediate action would be taken to notify customers through door-to-door canvassing efforts.

The City's Underground Utilities apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused and thanks customers for their patience. For more information, please contact the City’s Water Quality Division at 891-1200.


Precautionary Boil Water Notice for City Water Customers
January 14, 2011

Customers Affected in Woodville/Wakulla County Area - Due to a vehicular accident in the Woodville community, a Precautionary Boil Water Notice is being issued by the City of Tallahassee for City water customers in Woodville south of the elevated water tank along Woodville Highway into Wakulla County. This also affects water customers of the town of St. Marks. This notice affects approximately 3,000 water customers. A vehicular accident involving a fire hydrant in Woodville resulted in a loss of pressure in the line, requiring a precautionary Boil Water Notice to be issued.

Water service has been restored to the area and initial testing by the City's Water Quality Laboratory indicates the water meets all local and state regulations. However, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection requires these notices to be issued when any water service outage occurs. As such, the City's Underground Utilities is notifying all residents in the affected area, asking them to take precautionary steps before preparing food or using water for drinking purposes. Again, this is a precautionary notice, as a mandatory boil water notice would be issued when an imminent threat to public health exists.

*** To use water for cooking or drinking purposes, Underground Utilities advises residents to:

bring water to a boil;
let it boil for one minute;
let the water cool before using; and
as an alternative, you may use bottled water.
Until further notice, boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, bathing, washing dishes and food preparation. This is especially important for immuno-compromised individuals, infants or the elderly. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Another advisory will be issued when the boil water notice is canceled.

Alternatives to boiling the water include the use of bottled water or other disinfectant chemicals. The tap water may be disinfected using unscented household bleach (4-6% active ingredients) following these directions:

add 8 drops of bleach to each gallon of water;
mix the water; and
allow it to stand for a minimum period of 30 minutes.
Other approved chemical disinfectants are available at stores that sell camping and hiking supplies.

Public drinking water systems are required to maintain a disinfectant residual between 4.0 and 0.2 mg/L to inactivate disease-causing organisms associated with waterborne illnesses. Untreated drinking water is at risk for contamination by disease-causing bacteria and other organisms. Symptoms caused by these organisms may include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and possibly jaundice, and any associated headache and fatigue. Water containing harmful organisms such as E. Coli bacteria can be considered safe for drinking and cooking after vigorously boiling the water for one minute. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set enforceable drinking water standards for E. Coli to reduce the risk of these adverse health effects. Under this standard all drinking water must be free of these bacteria.

The City's Underground Utilities apologizes to customers in this area for the inconvenience. Water Quality Laboratory staff have collected samples in the area with results expected by Saturday morning, Jan. 15.

For more information, please contact the City's Water Quality Division at 891-1200.

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