D.C. “boil water” advisory: Here’s what you need to know

The advisory remains in effect until further notice.

D.C. “boil water” advisory: Here’s what you need to know
[Photo: Carol M. Highsmith/Wikimedia Commons]

The local agency that oversees the water supply in the nation’s capital has issued a “boil water” advisory for residents who live within the city’s northern half. The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority, or DC Water, said the affected area falls within the following boundaries:

  • North: Western Avenue to Massachusetts Avenue to Nebraska Avenue to Military Road to Missouri to New Hampshire Avenue
  • East: Eastern Avenue
  • South: New York Avenue to K Street to Whitehurst Freeway
  • West: Canal Road to the Clara Barton Parkway

For people within those boundaries (see embedded map below), DC Water is advising them not to rely on a filter or any appliance connected to water lines. Residents should use cooled boiled water, or bottled water, for the following:

  • Drinking
  • Brushing teeth
  • Preparing and cooking food
  • Making ice
  • Preparing infant formula
  • Water for pets

What happened? According to local site Popville, an open valve at a pumping station on Bryant Street resulted in the loss of pressure in the distribution system—which could allow contaminants to enter the water. The pressure loss lasted for about an hour yesterday. Pressure has since been restored. However, the boil water advisory remains in effect “until further notice.”

Other things to know: Residents in the affected area should follow these instructions:

  • If water is discolored, run the tap until clear, prior to boiling.
  • Bring water to a rolling boil for 3 minutes.
  • Allow water to cool before using.
  • Store cooled water in a clean container with a cover.

Read more context here.

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine