Large parts of the city were without water Monday morning after an issue at an Atlanta water treatment plant and pumping station, officials said.
The city said in a statement that due to a “control issue” at the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant and Pumping Station, areas had low pressure or no water.
As a result, a boil water advisory remains in effect until further notice, Atlanta Department of Watershed Management said in a statement. Commissioner Kishia Powell said the advisory could last until Tuesday afternoon, Channel 2 Action News reported.
By Monday afternoon, the department said it believed all water service had been restored, though officials urged residents to drink bottled water or boil tap water for one minute past a rolling boil.
“All residents and property owners that have experienced water outages and/or low water pressures are advised to boil all water prior to use, or use bottled water, for drinking, cooking, preparing baby food or brushing teeth,” the statement said.
A spokeswoman said department crews were performing routine maintenance on the plant’s meters about 10:15 a.m. when a control alarm went off. That signaled for the pumps to shut off, resulting in a temporary decrease in water pressure.
By 11:13 a.m., water pressure was restored at the plant, the spokeswoman said.
The Hemphill Pump Station is in northwest Atlanta, near Howell Mill Road and adjacent to a reservoir.
During the brief interruption in service, the water pressure dipped below 20 pounds per square inch (PSI), the spokeswoman said. Normal water pressure is typically between 30 and 80 psi.
The outage and subsequent boil water advisory disrupted the normal Monday flow at businesses, restaurants, schools and other establishments that rely on the city’s water supply.
Restaurants served bottled drinks in place of fountain beverages. Dozens of Atlanta Public Schools did not serve students water Monday afternoon. Even the Atlanta Humane Society in northwest Atlanta asked people to donate gallons of water “to keep our animals comfortable and hydrated.”
According to a notice from the Georgia Building Authority, there was no water at the Georgia Capitol and the surrounding streets for a period of time Monday morning. It included the building’s cafeterias, restrooms and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
Water service around the Capitol was restored shortly before noon Monday, the GBA said.
Georgia State University also said downtown buildings were without water, but later tweeted at about 11:30 a.m. that service had been restored.
Watershed Management water quality teams were collecting samples in the impacted areas Monday afternoon, the spokeswoman said. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division will determine when the boil advisory can be lifted.
Residents across Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties reported wrongfully receiving calls about the advisory. The city of Atlanta did not immediately confirm that it had sent the robocalls.
Cobb’s and Gwinnett’s water systems were working normally, according to statements from those counties. Only Atlanta water customers in DeKalb County are impacted by the boil water advisory, officials said.
Channel 2 reported that water test results are pending, which will determine when the advisory can be lifted.
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