Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Public safety

Water service restored in New Tampa, but boiling is advised

TAMPA — Water service has been restored to all customers in New Tampa, but the trouble is not over.

Residents north of Fowler Avenue should still boil their water until at least Monday, the Tampa Water Department said.

The outage occurred Friday afternoon, when an old, defective transmission pipe burst along Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, leaving tens of thousands of people without water.

The Landmark at Grayson Park, an apartment complex at 15501 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., was the last location to have its water restored on Saturday afternoon, Tampa's Water Department director Brad Baird said.

Most homes and businesses had service restored by 10 p.m. Friday, Baird said. A couple of churches and a fire station were reconnected early Saturday morning. The exact number of people affected by the outage is still unknown, Baird said, though it is believed to have impacted everyone north of Bearss Avenue and possibly as far south as Fowler Avenue.

The taps in New Tampa went dry when the 54-inch-diameter pipeline ruptured between Amberly Drive and Tampa Palms Boulevard, Baird said. The city had been working for two years to replace the pipe, which was installed in the 1970s.

"We were two weeks away from transferring the flow when the old pipeline ruptured," he said. "It didn't make it long enough."

City crews and contractors worked through the night Friday to finish the new pipeline.

"We did two weeks of work in one night," Baird said.

The boil-water notice is in effect for all customers who either lost service or experienced decreased water flow, Baird said. Water used for drinking or cooking should be boiled. Once several rounds of water testing show the water is safe, the city will notify customers.

Shelley Rossetter can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2442.

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