Boil water advisories issued for DC, Arlington due to concerns over 'unknown quality'

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Boil water advisories were issued for Washington, D.C., and Arlington County, Va., late Wednesday.

The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority issued the advisory for every one of its customers in the district, as well the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and Reagan National Airport, it said in a release. It called it a “precautionary notice to all customers to boil water that may be ingested due to water of unknown quality.”

“This advisory will remain in place until follow-up testing confirms the water is safe to drink,” the release continued.

Arlington County also issued a boil water advisory “for customers across the County” Wednesday “due to water clarity issues found at the Washington Aqueduct, the County’s source for drinking water,” according to an article on its website.

The Washington Aqueduct produces an average of 135 million gallons of water per day, supplying drinking water to roughly one million people in D.C., Arlington County and other parts of northern Virginia, according to the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which runs it.

“The Washington Aqueduct has recommended issuance of a Boil Water Advisory for the District of Columbia and portions of Northern Virginia due to elevated turbidity levels in water supply caused by increases in algae blooms in the Potomac River,” the Baltimore District said in a news release Wednesday.

“Blooms generally occur during high temperatures, causing conditions in water where nutrient levels are high,” the release continued.

“Turbidity, a measure of water’s cloudiness or clarity, plays a crucial role in assessing water quality. It is an important factor in water quality, as it can interfere with the effectiveness of water treatment process and impact the color, taste, and smell of drinking water,” the release added.

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