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Chattanooga water main break: Boil advisory remains in effect Saturday

The Tennessean (Nashville) logo The Tennessean (Nashville) 9/14/2019 Kerri Bartlett, Nashville Tennessean

The city of Chattanooga warns residents that "boil water advisory" remains in effect as the water system is restored, following a water main break late Thursday.

"Do not drink the water without boiling it first," the city posted on its website, citing an alert from Tennessee American Water. 

"Tennessee American Water has issued a precautionary boil water notice since we cannot assure pressure throughout the entirety of the distribution system and low pressure may impact water quality," the utility also posted on its website. 

Chattanooga-based TWA announced that repairs to the water main break near its plant had been completed Saturday morning, and the system is currently being restored, which could take up to a few hours at higher elevations.

Late Thursday, a major water main break near the plant affected customers in downtown and north Chattanooga, causing low to no water pressure. Dozens of government and community buildings closed after the break caused them to be without water pressure.

The city is also trying to reserve water by asking residents to refrain from watering lawns until the system is fully restored. 

Tennessee Department of Agriculture reminded area food manufacturers or retail stores to suspend food service if they are without hot water.

"When water comes back on, if you experience air or discolored water run COLD tap with good pressure flow until it runs clear," the city instructed on its Facebook page.

What does a boil water advisory mean?

Tennessee American Water advises customers not to drink the water without boiling it first and gives specific instructions and warnings.

  • Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for three minutes, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water.
  • Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation until further notice.
  • Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
  • Water main breaks resulting in a loss of system pressure can introduce disease-causing organisms into the water system. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches. The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. 
  • People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice from their health care providers about drinking water.
  • General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

Once system pressure is restored, bacteriological tests will be conducted throughout the system. Tennessee American Water can be contacted at 1-866-736-6420 for customer service. 

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Chattanooga water main break: Boil advisory remains in effect Saturday


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