MCKEESPORT (KDKA) — Hundreds of homes in McKeesport’s 10th ward are under a water advisory, telling customers to not use it. Investigators say dangerous PFA chemicals used to fight a fire Friday night may have leaked into the water system.
It is day three without water for some residents because of the advisory, but now they’re getting some relief. Starting today at 6 a.m. Monday, showers are available to affected residents at the McKeesport Area High School.READ MORE: ‘Cruel And Unusual’: McKeesport Residents Struggling To Make It By After Days Without Clean Water
“It felt great to take a shower, it really did,” said McKeesport resident Barbara Girgash.
Residents in the area say they’ve been holding their own so far, but it’s been difficult. Some have had to buy hotel rooms just to take a shower before today. The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County told residents that boiling or freezing the water won’t make it any safer.
Some homes have had their water shut off completely, forcing them to either buy by the gallons at a store or use water buffaloes in the area, and residents say this has affected everybody in different ways.READ MORE: Crews Battle Fire At Auto Body Shop In McKeesport For Hours
“You don’t realize how much you take water for granted until you can’t. Everything takes longer, even this morning taking a shower, ten minutes at home versus an hour driving, taking a shower and coming back home. It’s an inconvenience,” said Girgash.
But it’s an inconvenience worth taking. PFA chemicals are dangerous. They’re linked to cancer and other health issues.
Water buffaloes in the area are placed at the Atlantic Avenue Sewage Plant and at R&W Oil for anybody to use. The fire department also has water bottles.
The water department says even after they’re done flushing, more tests may need to be done. Officials have said that residents could be without water “for at least a week.”