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Water distribution continues after equipment failure causes another water outage for Hopewell residents

Updated: Feb. 17, 2021 at 5:28 AM EST
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HOPEWELL, Va. (WWBT) - An equipment failure has caused another water outage for the residents of Hopewell, which follows a “catastrophic” water plant failure that happened on Sunday.

Virginia American Water said service was restored overnight, but due to an equipment failure, there is another service outage impacting about 9,500 customers in the City of Hopewell, along with the subdivisions of New Birchett Estates, Cedar Creek, Cedar Creek West, Strattford Woods and Mullberry Woods in Prince George County.

Crews are working to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

“The water pressure is down because we have a mechanical issue that we’re working through right now,” said Barry Suits, president of Virginia American Water. “We don’t have an estimate right now on the restoration of water. We’re, once again, working safely and diligently. Our customers are our number one priority.”

Bottled water was distributed Tuesday at Patrick Copeland Elementary School. Portable toilets are also on site.

Residents, like Victoria Blizzard, got a case and gallon of water to take home.

“No water. No water to flush the toilet. No water to cook your food with or clean your clothes with,” Blizzard said. “Not having water at home is really disgusting right now. You’ve gotta brush your teeth. You’ve gotta wash your behind. You’ve gotta do all that.”

Water is also being delivered to the hospital, nursing homes and other critical care facilities.

“Once water service is restored, business and residential customers will be asked to conserve and boil water until further notice,” Virginia American Water said.

Residents were already under a boil water advisory and mandatory water conservation order after the city’s water system experienced a “catastrophic” water plant failure Sunday.

The city announced the order on Sunday after Virginia American Water Company, the locality’s supplier, experienced system failure due to loss of power. Virginia American Water Company notified customers of the boil water advisory early Monday morning, which was in effect until further notice.

Dominion Energy said the cause of the first outage was due to an issue with one of their transformers, and power was restored Monday afternoon.

“Once the water begins to return, customers are reminded to conserve its usage and also to boil water before consumption according to the directions provided, until further notice,Virginia American Water said.

This process can take up to 48 hours from the time water service is fully restored.

A mandatory water conservation order is in effect to extend the water supply. That order is in place until further notice as well.

The Virginia American Water Company, along with local and state officials, is giving out bottled water to those who need it again on Wednesday at Patrick Copeland Elementary School from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Virginia American Water also recommends the following steps:

  • Throw away uncooked food or beverages or ice cubes if made with tap water during the day of the advisory;
  • Keep boiled water in the refrigerator for drinking;
  • Rinse hand-washed dishes for a minute in diluted bleach (one tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of tap water) or clean your dishes in a dishwasher using the hot wash cycle and dry cycle.
  • Do not swallow water while you are showering or bathing;
  • Provide pets with boiled water after cooling;
  • Do not use home filtering devices in place of boiling or using bottled water; most home water filters will not provide adequate protection from microorganisms;
  • Use only boiled water to treat minor injuries.

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