03 October 2006

Seriously - Don't Drink the Water...

Again. And the affected area is exactly the same as last time. Okay, okay - for good measure, here's the September 29th press release from WASA (though it didn't hit the news until today, and yes, the emphases are mine):
The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) has detected high nitrite levels in the drinking water at six properties served by a privately owned 8” water main along 8th Street NE that is not maintained by WASA. As a matter of caution, after consulting with the Department of Health, WASA is advising the occupants of these buildings near the intersection of 8th and Varnum streets N.E. not to drink the tap water [boiling will not help]. The affected properties include 4401 through 4415 8th Street NE and 831 and 832 Varnum Street NE. No other customers are impacted.

WASA issued a similar notice on August 15, 2006 when high nitrite levels were found at some of these addresses during routine water quality monitoring. Nitrites are usually found in stagnant water and generated by the decomposition of organic material. The large size of the private water main and its low use are believed to be major factors in the high nitrite levels that were detected from the pipe. Elevated nitrite levels in tap water are a particular health concern for infants below the age of six months.

WASA is arranging a meeting with District agencies and the impacted customers to determine the best course of action to resolve the problem. Meanwhile, as a precaution, WASA continues to regularly flush the line.

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