Water-Boiling Alert Extended Pending Completion of Tests

Monday, November 17, 2008

Utility workers have repaired a water main that began leaking early Saturday near Largo, but officials said people who live nearby should continue to boil their water until Thursday while tests are completed to determine whether there was any contamination.

The affected area is a 39-square-mile swath in central Prince George's County roughly bordered by Church Road to the east, the Capital Beltway to the west, Route 50 to the north and Ritchie Marlboro Road to the south. Residents who are unsure whether the advisory applies to them can check a map at http://www.wsscwater.com, said Mike McGill, a spokesman for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

A lane of Route 214 that was damaged by the leak will remain closed for repairs through today.

McGill said that although there is no indication the water supply was tainted, precautions are necessary because the break temporarily reduced water pressure to thousands of homes, creating the potential for contaminants to leak into the system.

Tap water should be boiled for one minute, then cooled, before it is used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth or preparing food. If the water is discolored, residents should allow it to run until it clears.

-- N.C. Aizenman

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