Emergency water stoppage in Washington; residents warned to boil water through at least Wednesday

The county seat of Washington had an “emergency water leak” on Tuesday, resulting in the town shutting off its water for extended periods through Wednesday.

A water line repairman explains the severity of a major valve leak Tuesday on Piedmont Avenue in Washington, pointing out that “half of the water flow goes to the [fire] hydrant and the other half to the town.” By John McCaslin

In addition, the town was forced to issue a “Boil Water Advisory” through Wednesday at the earliest.

As a result of main water line repairs, when a water system loses pressure the possibility of contaminants entering the system through a backflow or cross connections must be considered, town residents and businesses were told:

“When service is restored, the system will be flushed and water systems will be analyzed for bacteriological contamination. As a precaution, until these sample results have been received, all water used for human consumption (drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, or dishwashing) should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute.”

A repairman explains to Washington Town Clerk Laura Dodd the severity of a main water line leak that led to a water stoppage and boil water advisory at least through Wednesday. By John McCaslin

Residents were advised that they would be notified when sample results had been received and concerns about water safety were satisfied.

“Please remember this boil water notice is issued as a precaution to make sure your water supply is safe to use and drink,” said the town in a statement, which was hand delivered to town residences, businesses and county offices. “The Town is hopeful that the Boil Water Advisory will be lifted by Wednesday afternoon.”

Washington Town Clerk Laura Dodd told the Rappahannock News that the cause of the leak had not been determined as of press time.

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John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at editor@rappnews.com.