Tampa Boil Water Notice Updates As Hillsborough County Residents Advised to Disinfect Tap Water

Residents of Tampa and some Hillsborough County communities in Florida have been advised to disinfect tap water to kill any bacteria or viruses due to possible contamination following a water main break reported Monday.

The Tampa city government said in a statement Monday: "A citywide precautionary boil water notice is in effect after a third-party performing work in the area hit a transmission main coming from the David L. Tippin Water Treatment Facility this afternoon."

A precautionary boil water notice is also in effect for Hillsborough County residents in Eastlake, Fairview, Herschel Heights, Pebble Creek, Palm River and Seaboard who receive their drinking water "via an interconnect with the City of Tampa after low water pressure was reported in the city on Monday afternoon," according to the county website.

"Customers are advised to boil water as a precautionary measure until a rescission notice is issued," the county added.

On Tuesday morning, the Tampa city government tweeted: "Crews have now isolated the water main and shut down the flow of water in the area. The Water Dept is in the process of pumping out the excess water so crews can begin repairs.

ALERT: A precautionary boil water notice has been issued citywide after a third-party hit a transmission main coming from the David L. Tippin Water Treatment Facility this afternoon. For more information about what to do, please visit https://t.co/3tpluXy4ns pic.twitter.com/ePwnqNlncP

— City of Tampa (@CityofTampa) December 7, 2020

"Work crews have been working through the night to effect repairs. That work remains an ongoing effort & is expected to be completed sometime later today," the city government said in a later tweet on Tuesday.

A citywide notice banning irrigation watering was also issued Monday. "Residents are required to shut off all automatic irrigation meter and sprinkler systems until further notice. This ban is intended to conserve the City's available water resources," the city government said.

The Hillsborough County website said: "The Hillsborough County Health Department requires a precautionary boil water notice after pressure in the lines drops below a certain level. Although it is unlikely there is any contamination in the system, the notice means customers are advised, as a precautionary measure, to boil tap water for cooking and drinking."

The Hillsborough County Water Resources Department has issued a precautionary boil water notice for the following neighborhoods: Eastlake, Fairview, Herschel Heights, Pebble Creek, Palm River, Seaboard and City of Tampa.

More information at https://t.co/lU5r3RLN2M pic.twitter.com/sFKHVuMXiZ

— #HillsboroughCares (@HillsboroughFL) December 8, 2020

The Tampa city government advised tap water can be disinfected using the following methods:

  • "Bring the water to a rolling boil and holding it there for one minute. Aerate the boiled water by pouring it from one container to another several times to improve the 'flat' taste left by boiling, then refrigerate for best results.
  • "Use bleach if you cannot boil your water. Add eight drops (about 1/8th teaspoon) of bleach for one gallon of tap water, shake, then let stand for 30 minutes before drinking. Use food-grade containers and unscented common household bleach that has 5 percent to 6 percent active ingredients. If the water is cloudy, use 16 drops, about ¼ teaspoon of bleach instead of 8. There should be a slight chlorine odor.
  • "Use water purification tablets or iodine that many sports and camping stores sell," the city government noted.

The Hillsborough County website added: "A full rolling boil for one minute is sufficient; cool before using. Allow the water to run until it is clear before washing clothes. Discard any ice from automatic ice-makers."

Tap water sink New York City 2003
Filtered tap water flowing in a sink at a residential building in the Manhattan borough of New York City, pictured in 2003. Residents in Tampa, Florida were issued a boil water notice to disinfect their tap water following a water main break reported Monday. Mario Tama/Getty Images