Water Authority Continues to Stress Need to Boil Water
Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
Sept. 20, 2003
Water Authority Continues to Stress Need to Boil
Conservation is no longer essential
Fairfax County residents are reminded to continue to observe the Boil Water Notice in effect due to the temporary power outage at the Fairfax County Water Authority supply plants. Even though electric power has been restored in many locations, the water still must be boiled and or disinfected before being ingested. For this reason, all residents should disinfect the water they use for drinking, brushing teeth, washing dishes, making ice and preparing food until further notice using the following procedures:
- Boiling: Boiling is the safest method of purifying water. Bring water to a rolling boil for a least one minute. To improve taste, allow the water to cool and then pour the water from one clean container to another several times.
- Purification tablets: Available at most drugstores or camping supply stores. Follow label directions.
- Bleach: Although boiling water is the best method of disinfection, unscented household liquid bleach containing at least 5 percent by weight available chlorine can also disinfect drinking water. To one gallon of clear water, mix 6 to 8 drops of bleach (1 teaspoon to 10 gallons); let the solution stand for 30 minutes before drinking. The water should have a slight chlorine odor. If not, repeat the dosage and allow the water to stand for an additional 15 minutes. If, after the first chlorine treatment, the water is cloudy and contains particles, allow the particles to settle. Pour off the clear water into a separate container and add to it double the amount of bleach mentioned above.
Carefully following these steps will reduce your risk of being exposed to disease-causing organisms that may be in the water.
Now that power has been restored to all water supply plants and the water supply levels are back to normal, the emphasis on water conservation has been lifted. Residents can bathe in water as long as none is ingested and use it for household cleaning.
Water Authority personnel will clean the system by flushing water through fire hydrants and blow-offs. Certified laboratory personnel will collect samples to test for potentially harmful bacteria. No potentially harmful bacteria have been found at this time. These procedures are being taken as precautionary measures for your health and safety. We will inform you when you no longer need to boil your water.
If flood water is covering or has covered the top of your private well, assume that the well water is contaminated. Call 703-246-2201, TTY 711 for information on how to disinfect your well. You may follow the above steps to temporarily disinfect well water for drinking.
If you experience other problems with your water service, please call the Fairfax County Water Authority at 703-698-5800, TTY 703-698-7025. After hours, call 703-698-5613, TTY 711. For the latest information on other storm related issues and services, call the Fairfax County Government Emergency Information Line at 703-817-7771, TTY 711 or visit the county Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.