Water warning remains in effect

Water warning remains in effect

AU officials posted a sign above water fountains in MGC cautioning people not to drink the water.

Update 5:16 p.m.
The boil-water advisory for AU’s campus and surrounding areas will remain in place until at least noon tomorrow, which is the “best case scenario,” according to Nicole Condon, DC Water’s water communications coordinator.

“We haven’t detected any water quality issues through our routine monitoring, so that’s of course a good sign,” Condon said.

Condon described the boundaries of the potential affected area to be “conservative” to ensure the safety of anyone living in potentially impacted areas.

The areas affected are all uphill of the Ft. Reno pumping station. When that station lost power yesterday, it wasn’t able to send water or bacterial disinfectant to those areas, creating concerns of choloform contamination, even when normal water pressure returned, Condon said.

Ingesting choloform can lead to gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting and diarrhea, Condon said.

It is safe to shower as long as the water is not ingested, according to DC Water.

AU response
AU purchased 5,900 water bottles, more than 830 gallons, to distribute to students, Camille Lepre, assistant vice president of communications, said in an email to The Eagle.

AU began purchasing the water last night in light of the advisory. The supplies arrived this morning, and residence hall staff distributed the water to on-campus residents, Vice President of Communication Terry Flannery said in an email to the AU community.

Each main campus resident will receive three bottles from AU, Flannery said. AU also sent more bottled water to the Eagle’s Nest and the Campus Store.

Nobody has reported illnesses related to the water advisory to AU, according to Flannery.

“DC Water assures us that there is no contamination of the system,” Flannery said in a memo to the AU community. “This water advisory is a necessary health and safety precaution. We are taking steps to provide campus residents with drinking water and to advise faculty, staff, non-resident students and visitors what precautions to take, until the advisory is lifted.”

The Terrace Dining Room is open and “taking appropriate precautions for food preparation,” Lepre said.

“Once the all clear is given by DC Water, we will then follow their procedures on how to flush the lines and take any other measures they suggest,” Lepre said.

Update: 12:30 p.m.
Some on-campus eateries will be closed March 6 due to the DC Water advisory issued March 5, including:

  • Freshii
  • Global Fresh
  • The Davenport Coffee Lounge
  • Starbucks

These food locations will serve food, but not offer fountain beverages or coffee:

  • Elevation Burger
  • Tavern
  • Subway
  • Einstein Bagel Bros.

Tavern and Elevation Burger are providing a canned soda or a bottle of water to any customer who buys a meal. P.O.D. is selling bottled water and other bottled beverages.

Megabytes will not sell any coffee or non-bottled water products, owner Tom Gera said. Megabytes is also getting ice from outside sources, he said.

Update: 11:54 a.m.
The Avalon, Greenbriar and Berkshire Apartments are not within the affected area, according to a list of affected premises provided by DC Water.

However, AU’s campus remains under boil-water advisory as listed on the DC Water’s sheet affected premises. The Dav is currently closed due to this reported advisory.

Update: March 6 at 8:25 a.m.
The boil-water advisory remains in effect today and could last until March 7, according to a DC Water press release.

More than 1,000 homes and businesses have been affected by the advisory, including AU’s campus, the press release said.

DC Water issued the advisory at 6:34 p.m. last night on Twitter due to a power outage at the Fort Reno pumping station. AU followed with an alert to students two hours later at 8 p.m. advising students to boil water and take precautions.

The power outage has been attributed to a switch gear failure, according to the Washington Post.

Original story
Students are advised to boil water before use due to a power outage at the Ft. Reno pumping station, according to a press release from the DC Water and Sewer Authority. Ft. Reno is located one and a half miles from the AU campus.

The water pressure has been restored, but students should “continue precautionary use and boiling as directed,” according to an AU alert issued at 9:22 p.m.

The power outage caused a drop in water pressure in the Northwest D.C. area, according to an AU alert sent out at 8 p.m. on March 5. The reason for the power outage has not yet been reported.

As of 7:15 p.m., low water pressure is affecting areas along Nebraska Avenue NW between MacArthur Boulevard NW and Connecticut Avenue NW, as well as a section of Wisconsin Avenue NW between Van Ness Street NW and Massachusetts Avenue NW, according to a map from D.C. Water. This area includes the majority of the AU campus.

McDowell, Cassell, Nebraska and Hughes were affected as of 7:15 p.m., as well as the Berkshire Apartments, according to an email from acting McDowell Hall Resident Director Timothy Staples obtained by The Eagle.

D.C. Water recommends using these safety guidelines:

Customers should:

  • Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute.
  • Allow water to cool before using.
  • Store cooled water in a clean container with a cover.

Customers should use cooled, boiled water or bottled water for:

  • Drinking
  • Brushing teeth
  • Preparing and cooking food
  • Making ice
  • Giving water to pets
  • Preparing formula for infants


Paige Jones and Zach C. Cohen contributed to this report.

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