D.C. Water issued a boil water advisory for some Northeast neighborhoods early Thursday due to the possibility of higher levels of E. coli bacteria.
The advisory is in place for the neighborhoods of Edgewood, Brookland, Fort Lincoln, Woodridge, Queens Chapel, Michigan Park and North Michigan Park. The earliest the advisory will be lifted is Saturday, according to a public safety alert.
The water authority says customers should not cook with or drink tap water without first boiling it for a minute. The advisory was issued following a temporary loss of pressure from a leak on a 36-inch water transmission line Wednesday afternoon.
D.C. Water recommends that customers in the affected areas do the following:
• Throw out any beverages and ice made before and during this advisory.
• Run cold water until clear (if discolored) before boiling.
• Run cold water for two minutes if known sources of lead are present prior to boiling.
• Bring water to a rolling boil for one minute and let it cool.
• Store cooled water in a clean, covered container.
The water advisory says cooled, boiled water or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing fruits and vegetables, preparing and cooking food, preparing infant formula, brushing teeth and giving water to pets.
Crews on Wednesday closed valves near 13th Street and Spring Road NW to isolate the leak and make repairs. D.C. Water said it had received multiple calls from customers in Northeast reporting low or no water pressure.
D.C. Water said it does not know if the incident contaminated the water, but issued the advisory out of caution while it collects samples to test the water in the impacted areas.
“System pressure was restored within the hour and service has been fully restored,” said D.C. Water. “Due to the loss of pressure in the system, it may have been possible for bacteria or other disease-causing organisms to enter the water through cracks, breaks or joints in the distribution system.”
Disease-causing bacteria can cause diarrhea, cramps, headaches, nausea and other symptoms and could pose a higher health risk for infants, young children, the elderly and people who are immunocompromised.
Residents and businesses can check if their areas were affected by visiting dcwater.com or call D.C. Water’s 24-hour command center at 202-612-3400.
The advisory will be lifted when water samples show no bacteria for two consecutive days, and all customers can resume normal water use.