Boil Water Advisory Issued for Falls Church Water Utility Customers

The Falls Church Water Utility is advising water customers in portions of Tysons Corner, Vienna, Dunn Loring and Merrifield to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a safety precaution. Customers are advised not to drink tap water without boiling it first. Failure to follow this advisory could result in stomach or intestinal illness.

Boil Instructions

Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, beverage and food preparation, and making ice until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Boiling is the preferred method to assure that the tap water is safe to drink. Bring all tap water to a rolling boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water.

Alternative Method

An alternative method of purification for residents that do not have gas or electricity available is to use liquid household bleach to disinfect water. The bleach product should be recently purchased, free of additives and scents, and should contain a hypochlorite solution of at least 5.25%. Public health officials recommend adding 8 drops of bleach (about ¼ teaspoon) to each gallon of water. The water should be stirred and allowed to stand for at least 30 minutes before use. Water purification tablets may also be used by following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Why This Is Necessary

This precaution is necessary due to a drop in water pressure in the Tysons and Vienna area of the City water system on Saturday afternoon. Low water pressure can potentially allow contaminants to enter into water pipes. The City’s pump stations have been operating on back-up power since Friday evening, when a line of thunderstorms caused the broadest non-hurricane related power outage in Virginia history. The City, in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), has analyzed all courses of action, and has opted to aggressively protect the interest of its customers in issuing this boil advisory. The City’s robust back-up generating capacity is now restoring water pressure to acceptable levels, however customers are advised to take appropriate precautions in light of the temporary drop in water pressure earlier today.

Boundaries of Advisory

The boundaries of the boil water advisory area are as follows:

• Eastern boundary of area: Beginning on the intersection of Magarity Rd. and Olney Rd.; following Magarity Rd. to the intersection with Rte 7; continuing east along Rte 7 to the intersection of I-66.

• Southeast boundary of area: Follows I-66 to the intersection of I-495.

• Southern boundary of area: Beginning at the intersection of I-66 and I-495 and follows along Cottage St. to Gallows Rd., north along Gallows Rd to Cedar Ln. West along Stonewall Dr. to Villanova Dr., then south along Villanova Dr. to Winder St., then west along Winder St. to Drexel St.

• Western boundary of area: Along the Town of Vienna line.

• Those who are uncertain as to whether or not they live in the affected area should use the methods above to boil or use liquid bleach.