PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Petersburg residents continue to boil their water after being placed on a boil water notice Wednesday.

The unexpected notice comes after construction caused damage to one of the city’s main water lines, impacting the tap water for Petersburg residents.

In an announcement on Wednesday, Dec. 21, the City notified residents that some would experience loss of water services or low water pressure in addition to water discoloration.

To ensure that the water is safe to drink, residents have been told to boil their water while continuing to conserve water.

Repairs on the main water line have since been completed, however, residents have been urged to continue taking precautionary measures until Friday afternoon.

8News spoke with residents in the area about their concerns and how this has impacted their holiday weekend. Some said they were not aware of the water boil notice until we told them.

“I’d like to hear an explanation as far as, you know, how long this is going to last and what’s causing it,” said John Slatner. “And, you know, just let people know what’s up.”

The Petersburg Health Department is advising residents to take the following steps to prevent illness from contaminated water:

  • Boil water or use bottled water to brush your teeth.
  • When taking a shower, cover any scratches, cuts, or open wounds.
  • To wash dishes, either use boiled water then let it cool until hands can comfortably be inserted, use bottled water, or use one tablespoon of unscented bleach per gallon of clean water (no detergents), and immerse dishes, then let them air dry. Do not use your dishwasher to wash dishes, as they use the same public water system.
  • Do not rely on household filters that are purchased over the counter as they will not remove bacteria from the water. Most filters use carbon, and those filters do a good job of taking out taste and odors but do not take out other contaminants.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, there are several reasons why you may be asked to boil your tap water:

  • If tests show that harmful microorganisms could be present in the water
  • If the water pressure drops due to equipment failure or power outages
  • Due to water main breaks or repairs
  • If the water source has been flooded
  • Due to any other situations that warrant special action to protect consumers’ health

If your water is not safe to drink and you become sick, you are urged to contact your family physician or healthcare provider. You can also call the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Drinking Water at 804-864-7500 for information about the boil water notice. 

Petersburg residents and businesses can contact the city about any questions by calling 804-733-2407.