Boil water notice lifted following 3rd Florida Keys water line break in just a few days

KEY WEST, Fla. – The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) has lifted its precautionary boil water order one day early.

As of 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, all water testing successfully passed in all areas, according to a spokesperson.

The FKAA continued to encourage everyone in the Keys to conserve water use following three water main breaks last week.

At the Sandbar Sports Grill in Key West, staff was using bagged ice and bottled water.

“Especially it being spring break right now, it really hits us hard, especially at night when he kids are here,” said owner Shaunda Longo. “It’s a big headache.”

Greg Veliz, Executive Director of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, told Local 10 News the pipe that runs from Florida City to Key West is 48 years old. Any interruption in flow can cause leaks and breaks

“A lot of that pipe is nearing the end of its useful life, so it’s very fragile,” Veliz said. “Obviously the Keys are a huge economic engine - nobody wants to see the Keys go down.”

Veliz said more people than ever are coming to the Keys.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, water use was 19 to 21 million gallons a day, according to Veliz. Now, the utility sees up to 26 million gallons being used.

“We are running at capacity all the time. We are trying to preserve the pipe as we can get to it and fix it,” he said.

About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.