FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Broward County authorities are warning that a boil-water notice remains in effect Sunday in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Oakland Park, Port Everglades, Sea Ranch Lakes, Wilton Manors and areas of Fort Lauderdale, Davie and Tamarac.
Dayana Diaz, a Fort Lauderdale spokeswoman, reported crews are testing the valves that failed when Florida Communication Concepts, a subcontractor for Florida Power & Light, drilled into a 42-inch pipe Wednesday. The valve was supposed to redirect the flow to the backup system.
Mayor Dean Trantalis told reporters that when the damaged pipe that supplies water to the Fiveash Regional Water Treatment Plant collapsed, the city was forced to cut off the water supply. About 220,000 customers experienced a service disruption on Thursday.
"Over the next week, a contractor will begin staging equipment and materials in preparation to begin making the permanent repair to the pipe," Diaz wrote in an e-mail to Local 10 News. "We do not anticipate any interruptions to water service while the permanent repair is being made."
After the valves failed, a patch was placed on the pipe and a backup line was used to redirect the water flow. Diaz reported the Fiveash Regional Water Treatment Plant, which was designed to treat 8 million gallons per day, is operating at "normal" production levels.
In Fort Lauderdale, the boil-water order remains in effect Sunday evening for areas in the city's Harbor Beach, Harbour Inlet, Harbour Isles and Breakwater Surf Homes neighborhoods.
Officials continued the distribution of water bottles from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at three locations in Fort Lauderdale: The Beach Community Center at 3351 NE 33rd Ave., the Mills Pond Park at 2201 NW 9th Ave., and the Riverland Park at 950 SW 27th Ave.
During This Week In South Florida Sunday, Brittany Wallman, the Sun Sentinel's Fort Lauderdale City Hall reporter, told Local 10 News reporters Glenna Milberg and Michael Putney that the water/sewer system hasn't been properly maintained.
"What should have happened is when the line was bridged, they would have simply moved the water over to the backup pipe and that didn't happen," Wallman said, adding that the valves had not been tested in 8 years.
The Sun Sentinel reported the water crisis this week has raised concerns among experts about the condition of the city’s water/sewer system and the years of neglect that could leave the city in the same predicament at any time.
"These are problems that will take 20 years, to take down this to do list and this pipe here wasn't even on the priority list, so you can't tear up the entire city and get all of this down in five years, " Wallman said.
The city's aging infrastructure has also been dealing with wastewater infiltration and inflow when excess ground or stormwater flows into the sewer system. There is an ongoing program to regain capacity lost at the G.T. Lohmeyer Wastewater Treatment Plant.
For more information about the order, call Fort Lauderdale's 24-hour call center at 954-828-8000.
Fill a pot with water.
Heat the water until bubbles come from the bottom of the pot to the top.
Once the water reaches a rolling boil, let it boil for 1 minute.
Turn off the heat source and let the water cool.
Pour the water into a clean container with a cover for storage.
Boil tap water even if it is filtered. Most kitchen and other household water filters typically do not remove bacteria or viruses.
Preparing and cooking food
Wash all fruits and vegetables with boiled water that has cooled or bottled water.
Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute before adding food to cook.
Use boiled water when preparing drinks, such as coffee, tea, and lemonade
Wash food preparation surfaces with boiled water.
Feeding babies and using formula
Breastfeeding is best. Continue to breastfeed. If breastfeeding is not an option:
Use ready-to-use baby formula, if possible.
Prepare powdered or concentrated baby formula with bottled water. Use boiled water if you do not have bottled water. Disinfect water for baby formula if you cannot boil your water (see above for directions on how to use bleach to disinfect water).
Wash and sterilize bottles and nipples before use.
If you cannot sterilize bottles, try to use single-serve, ready-to-feed bottles.
Do not use ice from ice trays, ice dispensers, or ice makers.
Throw out all ice made with tap water.
Make new ice with boiled or bottled water.
Household dishwashers generally are safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees or if the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle.
To wash dishes by hand
Wash and rinse the dishes as you normally would using hot water.
In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of warm water.
Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least one minute.
Let the dishes air dry completely.
Bathing and showering
Be careful not to swallow any water when bathing or showering.
Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.
Pets can get some of the same diseases as people. It is a good idea to give them boiled water that has been cooled.
Source: Centers for Disease Control
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