Residents and businesses in the Georgetown area are being asked to boil tap water before consuming it after a problem with a tap at a pumping station possibly contaminated drinking water, affecting nearly 34,000 Washington, D.C. residents in parts of Northwest and Northeast D.C. on Friday morning.
The university sent out a text alert Friday at 8:25 a.m., confirming that both Georgetown University’s main and medical campuses are in the affected region of the potential contamination.
Students of Georgetown, Inc., closed More Uncommon Grounds and Uncommon Grounds “due to abundance of caution,” as a result of the water contamination risk, they announced Friday morning on posters outside the two stores. Vital Vittles and Hoya Snaxa are still open, according to the announcement.
“Due to abundance of caution and to protect the safety of customers and employees, we have decided to close for the day,” reads the poster.
The affected neighborhoods include anywhere bound to the east by Eastern Avenue, to the south by New York Avenue to K Street to Whitehurst Freeway and to the north by Western Avenue to Massachusetts Avenue to Nebraska Avenue to Military Road to Missouri Avenue to New Hampshire Avenue, according to D.C. Water.
D.C. Water told residents and businesses in the affected regions to boil all water before consumption, food preparation, brushing teeth or providing water for pets. It is safe to bathe in the water as long as it is not ingested.
The risk for contamination occurred at the Bryant Street pumping station Thursday night, when an open valve potentially allowed contaminants to enter the drinking water supply due to the loss of pressure.
D.C. Water is expecting the advisory to last at least a day or two, but they will not lift the advisory until they sample the water to confirm that it is not contaminated.
The D.C. Water website was not loading on Friday morning, but they are tweeting out updates.
Matt Buckwald (COL ’20) is staying in a townhouse in Burleith over the summer. The advisory is frustrating, he said, but he is trying to make light of the situation.
“The most frustrating part about all this is that if I hadn’t gotten a Hoya Alert through Georgetown then I wouldn’t have known about this,” Buckwald wrote in a text. “Besides that, I already drank like three glasses of tap water this morning, but who knows maybe I’ll develop a superpower or something.”
This story will continue to be updated with announcements from the university as they become available on services for students and administrators.