BOIL WATER NOTICE LIFTED

OCTOBER 11, 2007

RESCISSION OF PRECAUTIONARY BOIL WATER NOTICE

TO: RESIDENTS THROUGHOUT THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH, TOWN OF PALM BEACH, TOWN OF SOUTH PALM BEACH AND CERTAIN PARTS OF UNINCORPORATED PALM BEACH COUNTY SERVED BY THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH.
THE SEPTEMBER 28, 2007 “PRECAUTIONARY BOIL WATER NOTICE” IS HEREBY RESCINDED FOLLOWING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF FREE CHLORINE THROUGHOUT THE SYSTEM AND THE SATISFACTORY COMPLETION OF THE BACTERIOLOGICAL SURVEY SHOWING THAT THE WATER IS SAFE TO DRINK.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH AT 561-822-2210.

Now that the Boil Water Alert has passed, how should we handle water filters and ice makers?

As per Coy Mathis, Assistant Director of Public Utilities, 494-1040, cmathis@wpb.org, because of recent Boil Water Alert, he has recommended that residents concerned about condition/safety of ice makers and water filters should dump old ice from ice makers and change water filters on sink faucets and in refrigerator ice makers.

What about reverse osmosis machines – how should they be handled?

As per Coy Mathis, Assistant Director of Public Utilities, 494-1040, cmathis@wpb.org, with regard to the affect of the recent Boil Water Alert on reverse osmosis machines, there is no problem with these machines. No special treatment is required.


UPDATE ON WATER INVESTIGATION TO DATE
October 8, 2007

Last week the city of West Palm Beach pulled 2 water meters from Gold Coast Linen located at 1811 N Dixie Highway following discovery of several violations.  We observed and documented the following: an improper cross connection between untreated well water and the city’s drinking water supply and a bypass of a backflow device designed to keep the water from mixing (this poses an additional potential for contamination).  A red-tag stop work order was issued by the plumbing inspector.  To date the current owners of the business have been cooperative with the agencies involved.

In addition, the Fire Marshall issued a violation on a separate line which provides water to the fire sprinkler system which had no approved fire-line backflow device.

Agencies continue to investigate the status of the on-site well as a potentially unpermitted device as well as other areas of interest.  The business was identified as it appeared in the area which tested hot for contamination and had a significant drop of water usage (millions of gallons) during a single month. 

According to independent and city experts, current tests indicating no current bacteria at the site DO NOT bear significant relevance to the issue of potential contamination which took place over a week ago.  Environmental conditions change: as an example the cites the city tested over a week ago are also negative now.

The facts remain that the potential for cross contamination due to the illegal configuration of the site’s plumbing exists along with the fact the area in which the business is located was identified thru testing and hydraulics modeling as a site of interest for where the bacteria entered the system.  


BOIL WATER NOTICE LIFTED
October 7, 2007 - The boil water notice has been cancelled for ALL customers served by the City of West Palm Beach.
All customers may immediately use the water with no need for boiling or further purification. The water should be flushed before you use it: - empty ice trays - do not use the ice that is in the icemaker;

- flush the system by turning on all the faucets throughout your home for 3 to 5 minutes,

- turn on your ice maker after you’ve flushed the system.

We appreciate the patience and understanding of the community as we worked to solve the problem.

For the LATEST INFORMATION please view CABLE CHANNEL WPBTV-18 on cable in the city limits, and monitor local news media. You may also call 822-2222 with any questions.


WEST PALM BEACH WATER UPDATE
Updated October 6, 2007 at 7:15 PM – The boil water notice remains in effect for West Palm Beach water customers North of Okeechobee Blvd. Although tests for bacteria have been negative citywide for 48 hours, ALL customers are asked to run sprinklers (if they are not on a well), run hoses and faucets in-order to help chlorine circulate through the system. This is to insure against recontamination and to help circulate the chlorine thru the pipes. If neighbors are snowbirds, ask for permission to run their outside faucets to help flush those vacant homes.Those areas remaining under the notice are still in the process of a full chlorine flush and test results over the weekend will determine whether those areas will be cleared within the next few days.The water leaving the plant has consistently tested clean and the city’s protective measures worked. Our daily testing caught the bacteria in the water and we promptly notified the health department and the public thru many methods including media, email, website, etc. Specialists were immediately brought in and the investigation started.For the LATEST INFORMATION please view TV-18 on Comcast cable channel 18 in the city limits or watch on-line, and monitor local news media. You may also call 822-2222.

WEST PALM BEACH WATER UPDATE
Updated October 6, 2007 at 2:46 PM – Residents and Business in areas North of Okeechobee Blvd are still under the Boil Water Notice

WEST PALM BEACH WATER UPDATE
Updated October 5, 2007 at 6:41 PM – The City of West Palm Beach and the County Health Department have lifted the boil water notice for the following areas: The Town of Palm Beach, The Town of South Palm Beach, The South end of the City of West Palm Beach SOUTH OF Okeechobee Blvd. Those areas have NEVER tested positive for bacteria but were under a boil water order as a precaution. ALL other customers serviced by the City of West Palm Beach REMAIN under a boil water notice until further notice.Those areas remaining under the notice are still in the process of a full chlorine flush and test results over the weekend will determine whether those areas will be cleared within the next few days.We have located a POTENTIAL source of contamination with an improper cross connection. The water meters have been pulled from the location and the city water service provided to the location has been discontinued. The city will continue our investigation and to seek other potential sources of contamination.The water leaving the plant has consistently tested clean and the city’s protective measures worked. Our daily testing caught the bacteria in the water and we promptly notified the health department and the public thru many methods including media, email, website, etc. Specialists were immediately brought in and the investigation started.For the LATEST INFORMATION please view TV-18 on cable channel 18 in the city limits or on-line, and monitor local news media. You may also call 822-2222.

CANCELACION Y DESCONTINUACION PARA HERVIR EL AGUA PARA LA CIUDAD DE PALM BEACH, CIUDAD DE SOUTH PALM BEACH Y LA ZONA AL SUR DE OKEECHOBEE BOULEVARD EN LA CIUDAD DE WEST PALM BEACH. La notificación para hervir el agua en las áreas enlistadas ha sido cancelada de inmediato. Los residentes y los negocios pueden parar de hervir el agua inmediatamente.El agua en las zonas enlistadas nunca tuvo problemas y la notificación fue hecha por motivos de precaución.Para mas instrucciones le pedimos que sintonice el canal 18 en el cable o visítenos a nuestra página Web al www.wpb.org o llámenos al 822-2222.Nos disculpamos por cualquier inconveniencia y agradecemos su paciencia.

WEST PALM BEACH WATER UPDATE
Updated October 5, 2007 at 10:00 AM – The boil water notice for City of West Palm Beach water customers continues to be in effect until the Palm Beach County Health Department clears the water supply for use by the general public.

JOINT MEETING WITH STATE EPA & P.B. COUNTY HEALTH DEPT.
Thursday, October 4, 2007 at 11:00 am – The Boil Water Notice will remain in effect until further notice. A very productive meeting was held earlier today with the Department of Health and representatives of the Florida State Environmental Protection Agency. The agencies want to be completely comfortable that the results are what they are looking for in terms of public safety. The City has made a great deal of progress. Testing is showing many areas in the City are not testing positive. We want to be sure system-wide the citizens of West Palm Beach are safe and they can drink the water with confidence.Please remember: You can use the water to wash your hands. You can use the water to bathe in. Please boil the water prior to consumption.

WEST PALM BEACH WATER UPDATE
Updated October 4, 2007 at 10:20 AM – The boil water notice for City of West Palm Beach water customers continues to be in effect until the Palm Beach County Health Department clears the water supply for use by the general public.

WEST PALM BEACH WATER UPDATE
Updated October 2, 2007 at 2:03 PM – The City of West Palm Beach continues to purify the water system and investigate the source of the contamination. Upon approval of the test results by the Palm Beach County Health Department Wednesday morning, it is anticipated that customers in the South end of the city and the TOWNS of Palm Beach and South Palm Beach (which have never tested positive for bacteria) will have the boil water notice lifted and that our remaining service area will be under the boil water notice through the end of the week.Here is the latest information:Latest tests indicate a significant reduction in sites testing positive for bacteria. The western communities of Ibis and Baywinds have preliminary positive test results. This is due to the system flush pushing the contaminants thru the system and the community location near the end of the system run. The city will be boosting the free chlorine level there today by flushing lines in order to destroy the bacteria.The city continues its aggressive investigation into the source of the contamination. The most likely source would be an unintentional breech in the distribution system caused by construction activity. To date we have investigated over 50 construction sites. Although we have located a general area (i.e.; downtown WPB) where testing indicates a source existed, there is a strong likelihood that no specific cause may be discovered as the conditions which caused the breech may no longer exist.The water leaving the plant has consistently tested clean and the city’s protective measures worked. Our daily testing caught the bacteria in the water and we promptly notified the health department and the public thru many methods including media, email, website, etc. Specialists were immediately brought in and the investigation started. We have flushed and purified the system and are on track to release some of the areas from the boil water notice Wednesday as originally planned. Health officials have reported no illness related to this matter. Once again, this was not a city utility caused issue, it was likely an unintentional breech of the system resulting from construction activity.

DRINKING WATER WARNING
Updated Sept 30, 2007 at 5:39 PM – City of West Palm Beach water has been determined to be contaminated with Fecal Coliform/ E. coli Bacteria.PLEASE BOIL YOUR WATER BEFORE USING. Fecal coliform and E. coli bacteria have been found in the City of West Palm Beach water system distribution from samples collected on Wednesday, 9/26/2007 and Thursday, 9/27/2007. The results for tests conducted on these samples were confirmed on Friday 9/28/07 and Saturday 9/29/2007 and reported to the Palm Beach County Department of Health and to local residents immediately. The contaminated samples appear to be limited to a small portion of the City’s water distribution system in the north end of the City.A precautionary “Boil Water Notice” was issued on Friday 9/28/2007 directed at all City of West Palm Beach water customers and has been reported many times by media outlets since 9/28/07.Bacterial contamination can occur due to a break in the distribution system (pipes), improperly designed or temporary rerouting of distribution line, or a failure in the water treatment process. Samples collected daily at the Point of Entry (at Treatment Plant) have been negative for Bacteria.What should I do? What does this mean? DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one to 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.Fecal coliform and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with substances related to human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, and people with severely compromised immune systems.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.What is being done?A stronger Chlorination process commenced on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007 with flushing of the water system, rigorous daily and repeat testing of entire water distribution system, Public Notification and implementation of Boil Water Notice, increased sampling and retesting, meeting with health officials and water experts, reviewing records of construction activities, and flushing of the water system has been occurring since the inception of this issue. We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate resolving the problem within two to three days.For more information, please contact the City Hotline at 561-822-2222. 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.Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.This notice is being sent to you by the City of West Palm Beach Public Utilities Dept.
State Water System ID#: FL 4501559. Date distributed: Sunday 9/30/2007.

WPB BOIL WATER INFORMATION
Updated Sept 29, 2007 at 9:09 PM – The boil water notice for West Palm Beach water customers continues until further notice. The water leaving the plant is clean and the city is investigating distribution lines as a possible source of contamination. The county health department reports no known cases of illness as a result of water quality. The water is safe for washing hands and bathing but must be boiled prior to being drunk or ingested.The city will be performing a chlorine flush of all lines so customers may notice a change in odor as this is being preformed. Customers are encouraged to run sprinkler systems and flush home lines AFTER 10 PM SUNDAY. Customers must follow the boil water notice until official notification of an all clear.THE ONLY areas affected are the city of West Palm Beach, Town of Palm Beach and TOWN of South Palm Beach and a small unincorporated area of the county. To determine if you are in an affected you may view a map, tune to cable tv-18 with-in city limits or watch on-line, monitor local media or call 822-2222.

WEST PALM BEACH FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS1. I live in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Mangonia Park (etc), this my affected area?
No, only City of West Palm Beach, water customers are affected by the Boil Water Notice. City of West Palm Beach, Town of Palm Beach and Town of South Palm Beach water customers are affected.

2. How do I purify my water?
a. Rapidly boil your tap water for 1-3 minutes.
b. If you are unable to boil your water, add 8 drops of unscented bleach per gallon of water and let stand for one hour prior to using.
c. Use commercially bottled water.

3. Do I need to use boiled or bottled water in my coffee maker? Yes.

4. Can I use tap water to clean food? No, you must use bottled or boiled water to clean food.

5. What happens if I have drank the water before boiling it and I am feeling sick? Contact your health provider or go to the hospital if you are not feeling well.

6. Is the water safe to bathe in, since water may get into the eyes and the nose? Yes, the water is safe to bathe in. Only the water that is used for consumption must be boiled.

7. Is it safe for brushing teeth since you use the water to rinse your mouth? Use boiled water or bottled water to brush your teeth.

8. If I wash my dishes in the sink? Utilize boiled water, bottled water, or water treated with unscented bleach (ration of 8 drops of unscented bleach per gallon of water, let stand for one hour prior to using.)

9. Is using my automatic dishwasher safe? Dishwashers heat the water, but for safety reasons, add 1 capful of unscented bleach inside the dishwasher.

10. Is it safe to wash my clothes? Yes, washing machines water is okay to use.

11. Can I drink water from my refrigerator that has a filter system? No. The filter removes taste and odor. The water must be boiled. After boiling itself, the water may be e stored in a pitcher and kept in the refrigerator.

12. We have an ice dispenser – should we discard the ice? Discard your ice. Use bottled, boiled or bleach treated water to make ice.

13. What about my pets? Only give pets the boiled or bottled water.


WEST PALM BEACH PREGUNTAS MAS FREQUENTES1. Yo vivo en Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Mangonia Park (etc), esta mi area afectada? No, solamente clientes de la ciudad de West Palm Beach, Town of Palm Beach y Town of South Palm Beach estan siendo afectados.

2. Como debo purificar el agua?a. Hierva el agua del grifo en un hervor rapdio por 1 – 3 minutos.
b. Si no puede hervir el agua, añada 8 gotas de blanqueador sin perfurme por cada galon de agua y dejela reposar por una hora antes de usarla.
c. Use agua embotellada.

3. Debo utilizar agua hervida o embotellada para preparar mi café? Si

4. Puedo utilizar el agua del grifo para limpiar mis alimentos? No, usted debe utilizar agua hervida o embotellada.

5. Que pasa si bebo el agua antes de hervirla y me siento enfermo? Contacte su medico o vaya al hospital si se siente enfermo.

6. Es el agua segura para bañarse, por el hecho de que me puede caer en los ojos y la nariz? Si, el agua es segura para bañarse. Solamente el agua que se utiliza para consume debe ser hervida.

7. Es seguro lavarse los dientes y utilizar el agua para enjuagarse la boca? Use agua hervida o agua embotellada para lavar sus dientes.

8. Es seguro si lavo los platos en el fregadero (pileta)? Utilize agua hervida, agua embotellada o agua tratada con blanqueador sin perfume (8 gotas por cada galon de agua, deje reposar por una hora antes de usarse)

9. Es seguro utilizar la lavador de platos? Las lavadoras de platos calientan el agua, pero por razones de seguridad, añada una tapa de blanqueador sin perfume dentro de la lavadora de platos.

10. Es seguro lavar la ropa? Si, puede utilizar la lavadora de ropa para la lavar su ropa.

11. Puedo tomar el agua del refrigerador que tiene un sisema de filtro? No. El filtro solo remueve sabor y olor. El agua debe hervirse. Luego de hervirse, el agua debe almacenarse en un envase y colocarse en el refrigerador.

12. Tenemos un dispensador de hielo, debo desechar el hielo? Si, deseche el hielo. Utilize agua embotellada, hervida o tratada con blanqueador para hacer el hielo.

13. Que hago con las mascotas? Solo deles de tomar agua embotellada o hervida.


PRECAUTIONARY CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH WATER SYSTEM
Sept 28, 2007 at 1:55 PM – DUE TO AN ABNORMAL SAMPLING EVENT IN CERTAIN PARTS OF THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH WATER SYSTEM,RESIDENTS THROUGHOUT THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH, TOWN OF PALM BEACH, TOWN OF SOUTH PALM BEACH AND CUSTOMERS SERVED BY THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH WATER SYSTEM MUST BOIL WATER UNTIL FURTHER NOTIFIED.THIS IS A NORMAL BOIL WATER PROCEDURE AS MANDATED BY THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC FROM THE POSSIBILITY OF USING CONTAMINATED WATER UNTIL SAMPLES ARE SATISFACTORY. IT IS MANDATORY THAT YOU BOIL YOUR WATER FOR ALL DRINKING, FOOD PREPARATION AND DISHWASHING PURPOSES. LET WATER BOIL BRISKLY FOR NO MORE THAN ONE TO THREE MINUTES. CONTINUE TO DO SO UNTIL OTHERWISE OFFICIALLY NOTIFIED. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO BOIL YOUR WATER, ADD 8 DROPS OF UNSCENTED BLEACH PER GALLON OF WATER AND LET STAND FOR 1 HOUR. DURING THIS TIME WATER MAY BE USED FOR SHOWERING AND OTHER PURPOSES BUT NOT FOR DRINKING, ICE, COOKING OR FOR PETS. YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED TO DISCONTINUE BOILING YOUR WATER ONCE THE WATER IS DETERMINED TO BE SAFE AND FREE OF POSSIBLE CONTAMINATION. THIS NORMALLY TAKES APPROXIMATELY 48 HOURS.WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE. IF WE MAY BE OF ANY FURTHER ASSISTANCE, PLEASE CALL PUBLIC UTILITIES DISPATCH (24 HRS) 561-822-2222.