Boil water advisory lifted for parts of upper Northwest Washington

D.C. Water officials lifted an advisory Friday for businesses and homes in part of the District’s upper Northwest neighborhoods to boil their water after a pumping station lost power, leaving hundreds in the area with low water pressure.

Authorities said in a news release on their Web site that they had confirmed that the “drinking water meets water quality safety standards for this type of event.” D.C. Water officials said they “tested water samples from multiple sites, and at different times, in the impact area.”

The advisory had been put in place since Wednesday evening as a precaution in areas west and southwest of Rock Creek Park after the reservoir in Fort Reno failed to drain and did not pull contamination from the pipes, said D.C. Water’s general manager, George Hawkins.

The problem at the Fort Reno pumping station Wednesday was caused by a switch gear failure, D.C. Water said. Water service was restored to the area shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday.

About 1,000 businesses and homes in an area that runs mostly along Nebraska Avenue, south of Military Road, and extends west past Massachusetts Avenue NW had low water pressure, officials said.


Blue shaded area in updated map below represents the affected areas. (D.C. Water and Sewer Authority)

D.C. Water officials had advised customers who were experiencing low pressure to boil their water for cooking and drinking because it may be contaminated.

On Friday, D.C. Water officials said they “verified that there is no risk of water contamination from the loss of pressure.

On Thursday, seven schools in Ward 3 did not serve breakfast, and parents were encouraged to pack lunches for their children because limited food was available in the buildings. Bottled water was delivered to the schools, as well as more than 150 breakfasts and 1,000 lunches. The affected schools were Hearst, Janney, Lafayette, Mann and Murch elementary schools, Deal Middle and Wilson High.

Part of American University’s main campus and residence halls were in the affected area, causing the university on Thursday to close all but two of its dining facilities. The university ordered more than 830 gallons of bottled water for students.

Some restaurants in the affected area said they were able to serve customers Thursday, but at a slower pace because of the time it took to boil the water used to cook.

Hoai-Tran Bui contributed to this report.

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.
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