The Latest: Water service in Hopewell restored; bottled water distribution cancelled for winter weather

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HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — Some Hopewell residents still don’t have running water after a second catastrophic failure of equipment caused an outage at the Virginia American Water plant Tuesday.

The Virginia American Water company and Dominion Energy have said they are working to restore water to approximately 9,500 customers in the Hopewell water system that includes, customers in the City of Hopewell, as well as the subdivisions of New Birchett Estates, Cedar Creek, Cedar Creek West, Strattford Woods and Mullberry Woods in Prince George County.

Virginia American Water
The Virginia American Water Company said that some Hopewell residents will begin to see water in their taps today. A water boil advisory is still in effect. (Photo: 8News Photographer Will McCue)

There is no timeline on when water service will be fully restored to all customers.

8News has reached out to the City of Hopewell and the water company following confusion about water restoration but they have ignored our requests for information this morning.

Residents are advised to check the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages for updates or visit  www.virginiaamwater.com.

HOPEWELL WATER COVERAGE:

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Boil water advisory issued for Virginia American Water customers in Hopewell

Water restored for Hopewell water system customers; Boil advisory still in place

Hopewell restaurant gets creative to serve customers during water outage

Wednesday

At 9:25 p.m., Wednesday, Virginia American Water Company sent out a reminder that although water has been restored, it still needs to be boiled and cooled prior to consumption. The bottled water distribution event scheduled for Thursday in Hopewell has been cancelled due to incoming winter weather.

The company says they will give an update on Thursday about when they plan to continue handing out bottled water.

At 6:25 a.m., Wednesday, the vice mayor of Hopewell Johnny Partin announced on Facebook that water was backup but the boil advisory remained in effect.

Shortly after 8 a.m., the Virginia American Water company tweeted that water service had been partially restored.

“We currently do not have an ETA for when water service will be fully restored to all customers. As customers start to receive water in their taps today, there may be air pockets or some discoloration,” the water company tweeted.

The Virginia American Water company is scheduled to have another bottled water distribution site from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Patrick Copeland Elementary School located at 400 Westhill Road.

On Tuesday, city offices and schools reported they would be closed today due to the water outage. Given the update this morning, city offices will be open at the normal time.

The latest update from the school district said all virtual and in-person classes are canceled, and 12-month employees will work from home. If service is restored by 9 a.m. on Wednesday, then meals will still be delivered at the scheduled times.

A Facebook post stated that all Hopewell Community Center appointments have been canceled; however, staff will continue to work in the call center as long as needed.

The City says it will also continue to deliver water to elderly and disabled citizens upon request.

Tuesday

On Tuesday morning at 6 a.m., the water company announced that it had restored water for its customers but still advised them to boil their water until further notice. Another bottled water distribution event was held at a local elementary school.

Hours later, Hopewell residents have been left without water again. Dominion Energy told 8News the outage on Sunday was due to a power outage, and that Tuesday’s issue had nothing to do with Dominion.

Right now there is definitive answer on what led to Tuesday’s power outage.

Sergeant Rich Wade with the Hopewell Sheriff’s Office called the outage “Another catastrophic failure of the plant,” while Hopewell Vice Mayor Johnny Partin had posted an update on his Facebook page alerting residents about the new outage.

The pumping station is where the outage happened. A portable generator has been brought in to the company’s Low Service Pumping Station.

Portable generator brought in to the Virginia American Water plant in Hopewell, Virginia. (Photo: 8News Reporter Sabrina Shutters)

Those who live in Hopewell told 8News this isn’t the first time there’s been outages like this.

“We’re not able to use our water and then when you turn it on, it makes like a funny noise, so you either have to boil it or the best way to do it is come out here to pick it up,” Angela Cofield, a resident without water since Sunday, said.

Cofield picked up water at the distribution site Tuesday morning for elderly residents in her neighborhood. According to Cofield, last year the city has the same problem after a storm.

“The water was off about, I’d say about three days and then when you turn it on, little black stuff started to come out,” Cofield recalled.

Monday

The Virginia American Water company issues a water boil advisory for its customers in Hopewell following a power outage at their water treatment plant.

Impacted customers are advised to bring water to a boil for one minute and then allow cooling before using it for consumption, drinking, making baby formula, ice cubes, washing vegetables and fruit, and for brushing teeth.

A bottled water distribution event for residents was held at 10 a.m. at Patrick Copeland Elementary School.

Sunday

A mandatory water conservation order is in place after a “catastrophic failure” occurred to the City of Hopewell’s water plant due to this weekend’s ice storm.

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