PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — About 100,000 customers in Allegheny and Washington counties are under a boil water advisory until further notice.
The Pennsylvania American Water Company says water samples taken from portions of its Allegheny and Washington County service areas Monday had cloudiness, or turbidity, levels above the regulatory standard, which means there is an increased chance that the water might contain disease-causing organisms.
A boil water advisory has been issued for the following areas:
- Bethel Park
- Elizabeth Township
- Elizabeth Borough
- Jefferson Hills Borough
- South Fayette
- South Park
- Upper Saint Clair
- West Elizabeth
- Caroll Township
- Cecil Township
- City of Washington
- Cross Creek
- Donegal Township
- East Washington
- Frankfort Springs
- Forward Township
- Green Hills Borough
- Mount Pleasant
- New Eagle
- North Franklin
- North Strabane
- Peters Township
- Robinson Township
- Smith Township
- Somerset Township
- South Franklin
- South Strabane
- Union Township
- West Middletown
All customers under the advisory are instructed to bring water to a boil for one minute, then let it cool before drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes or using in food preparation until further notice.
In Allegheny County, the South Allegheny School District and the South Fayette School District are both cancelling classes for Tuesday, Nov. 7, due to the advisory.
But, over in Washington County, Trinity Area School District officials say classes will go on as scheduled during the Boil Water Advisory. In an alert on their website, they say students and staff are welcome to pack their own bottled water, but it will also be made available upon request at school offices.
Lisa Washington’s Report:
They will be covering all water fountains and sinks throughout the district, and will make hand sanitizer available in all restrooms.
Also, school officials say the cafeteria staff will continue to prepare lunches, but they will be made without the use of tap water.
At the Forty Bar & Grille in North Franklin, it looked like a normal Monday night. But, because of the advisory, it was not quite business as usual. North Franklin is one of more than three dozen communities in Washington County under a boil water advisory.
Bar owner Robert Merashoff said, “First my food provider called, then my insurance agents, then some customers called and said, ‘Hey, you saw the warning, didn’t you?’”
Washing dishes and other kitchen utensils was okay, but bartenders were using bottled water for drinks, not taking any chances with tap water. Merashoff says his customers’ well-being comes first and foremost.
KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti Reports —
“We wanted to be careful, so we hurried and shut our water off. We want to make certain we can provide our customers with clean water,” Merashoff said.
Animals are also being impacted by the advisory.
The Washington Area Humane Society is also under the advisory. Because of that, they are asking for donations of water. The shelter has placed large bins out front where donations of gallons of water or bottled water can be dropped off.
A Facebook post says: “WAHS needs water. There is a 48 hour water advisory. If you can donate gallons or bottled water please drop off at shelter anytime tonight or tomorrow. There are large bins and benches in front of shelter water can be left in. Thank you for helping the dogs and cats!”
Several communities have set up water buffaloes at key locations so residents have a place to get a safe supply. Penn American is also encouraging people in the impacted neighborhoods to use bottled water at home.
“I’m going to actually head out to the stores and see if they have any water left there, try to buy water. Although, I hear that they’re running low,” said Chuck Herrig, a Bethel Park resident who was visiting the community’s water buffalo location on Monday evening.
KDKA’s Kym Gable Reports —
The water buffaloes have been set up at:
- Bethel Park Community Center: 5151 Park Ave, Bethel Park, Pa. 15102
- Jefferson Hills Borough Police Department: 925 Old Clairton Rd, Jefferson Hills, Pa. 15025
- South Fayette Township Library: 515 Millers Run Rd, Morgan, Pa. 15064
- South Park Township Library: 2575 Brownsville Rd, South Park Township, Pa. 15129
- Upper St Clair Community & Recreation Center: 1551 Mayview Rd, Upper St Clair, Pa. 15241
Residents will need to bring their own containers.
Pennsylvania American Water says they are draining affected water storage tanks to address the issue, and the issue should be resolved by Monday evening. More information will be posted on PennsylvaniaAMWater.com.