Precautionary Boil Water Advisory Issued for Entire Bluefield Water System Due to Discolored Water

BLUEFIELD W.Va. (WOAY)  – West Virginia American Water has issued a precautionary boil water advisory for the entire Bluefield water system (approx. 4,500 customers) due to discolored water in parts of the system. Yesterday, a contractor connected a new water main to the existing Bluefield water system as part of a system upgrade. The new water main was properly flushed and disinfected, however, the work changed the direction and velocity of water in the existing water distribution network, which caused mineral deposits inside pipes to break loose into the water column. Crews are working diligently to flush areas throughout the system until all discolored water is removed.

West Virginia American Water customers will be notified of the advisory by the CodeRED emergency notification system. The advisory also impacts the system’s two bulk water purchasers: Bluefield Valley Water Works and the Bland County Water Authority. Those customers will be notified through the local media.

As a precaution, affected customers should boil their water before consumption until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms that may be present in the water. Customers are asked to bring water used for drinking, cooking, bathing and brushing teeth to a full boil for a minimum of one minute, then cool before use.

West Virginia American Water also recommends the following steps:

  • Throw away beverages and ice cubes if made with tap water;
  • Keep boiled water in the refrigerator for drinking;
  • Provide pets with boiled water after cooling;
  • Do not use home filtering devices in place of boiling or using bottled water; most home water filters will not provide adequate protection from microorganisms;
  • Use only boiled water to treat minor injuries.

Once the system is cleared of discolored water, West Virginia American Water will be collecting additional water quality samples in the area of the outage, which require a minimum of 24 hours for analysis. Customers will be notified in the same manner once the analysis is complete and the advisory can be lifted. For more information, contact West Virginia American Water’s customer service center at 1-800-685-8660.

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com