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Boil water advisory issued for Americus citizens that have little water pressure

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 11:30 AM EST
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AMERICUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A boil water notice has been issued in Americus due to old water mains.

The notice applies to any residence or business that has had little or no water pressure on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

According to Emergency Management Sumter County, when water mains lose pressure, it increases the chance that untreated water and harmful microbes can enter your water. At least 600 residents are affected due to old water mains, city officials say.

If you live in an area that has had little or no water pressure, follow these steps:

  • Bring tap water to a rolling boil
  • Boil for one minute
  • Cool before using

You can also use bottled water certified for sale by the Georgia State Department of Health. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, drinking water for pets, brushing teeth and preparing food until further notice.

Facilities like the Sumter County Jail and Phoebe Sumter Medical Center are having to make changes due to the boil water advisory.

Sumter County Emergency Management Director Nigel Poole says a water main broke at the hospital causing the water pressure to be very low or completely diminished.

“It was difficult for them to do their regular operation and there became a point last night where we had to decide ‘Do we need to move these inmates or do we need to what do we need to do for the hospital?’,” said Poole.

Poole says a 12-inch water main break on North Jackson St. in Americus is what caused people in the city to lose water.

“Having a water pipe burst like this causes a major disruption to the day to day operations for the community,” said Poole.

Although the water main has been repaired, Poole says the water is still not safe.

“They installed what’s called an insta-valve into the drainage system, which let them stop the water from flowing out and let the pressure rebuild. Because of this, the water sat too long and stagnated and we’re making sure our citizens are safe and don’t use the water to eat drink,” said Poole.

Poole says the water main break is forcing the hospital to utilize porta-potties for the patients.

“With the water being out at the hospital, there was an issue of patients being able to use the bathroom so we were able to get some porta-potties out there pretty quickly yesterday,” recalled Poole.

Sumter County Sheriff Eric Bryant says they already had a protocol in place for a situation like this.

“It basically entails using porta-potties and making sure we have an adequate supply of bottle water in the facility at all times,” said Bryant.

Crews will make improvements as soon as possible - however, citizens should expect to use boiled or bottled water for the next three days until lab results are back.

Citizens will be informed when they will no longer need to boil their water.

For more information, call the Americus Water System at 229-591-9156.

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