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Water Q&A

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 22, 2003

Must I boil my water?

Yes, if you live anywhere in Pinellas County except Dunedin, Belleair, St. Petersburg, South Pasadena, Gulfport and Oldsmar. You also need to boil water if you live in central Pasco County along State Road 54, between the Suncoast Parkway and Little Road, until further notice.

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How long should I boil it?

Boil water for three minutes for drinking and cooking.

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What about pets' water?

They should get boiled or bottled water.

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What about ice?

Throw away ice that could have been made with contaminated water.

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Must I conserve water?

Yes, if you live anywhere in Pinellas County, except Dunedin or Belleair, which have their own wells. You also need to conserve in west and central Pasco County.

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How should I conserve?

It's okay to shower and flush toilets, but don't water lawns, wash cars or bathe pets. Try to put off doing dishes and washing clothes.

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Why boil water?

When water pressure drops too low, ground water can seep into pipes. Standing water from fire lines and irrigation systems can flow back into pipes. That water could be contaminated with bacteria.

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Can I use a water filter instead?

Utilities officials say most water filters do not provide enough protection. They recommend contacting the manufacturer to make sure.

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How long will this go on?

Boiling water will continue until tests show the water is clean. Many residents may be able to stop boiling water later today. Others may be advised to continue another day or two. Residents should continue to conserve until the pipe is repaired. Tampa Bay Water officials hope it will be back in service Tuesday.

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What if I drank unboiled water?

So far, tests have not shown any contaminated water. Boiling water is a precaution. But if you start to feel sick, contact your doctor.

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Where can I find out more?

Call Pinellas County Utilities at 727-464-4000 or Pasco Utilities at 727-847-8144. f,8,hb0 Source: Tampa Bay Water, Pinellas County Utilities, Pinellas County Health Department

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