Officials in Tampa, Fla., have issued a warning that water in the city of Tampa and its outlying areas might be contaminated after a rodent chewed through an electrical power line, interrupting the electric power supply to the water treatment plant.
The rodent, apparently a squirrel, started a domino effect that finally led to the failure of Tampa’s water treatment plant and reduced its water pressure to a dangerous level. Water pressure prevents contaminants and impurities from infiltrating the underground pipes through which drinking water reaches consumers’ homes and businesses. Water tainted by those pollutants can cause people to become sick and suffer from flu-like symptoms.
As a safety measure, people should either use bottled water or bring tap water to a rolling boil for one minute to make it drinkable or disinfect it by putting about one-eighth of a teaspoon of common household bleach into a gallon of tap water, shaking it and letting it stand for 30 minutes. People should apply the same procedures to water they use for cooking, washing food and dishes and for brushing their teeth. They should also take caution not to let the tainted tap water touch their mouths, noses and eyes and prevent their pets for coming into contact with the tainted tap water.
The drinking water alert affects the city of Tampa, East Tampa, the Port of Tampa, Palmetto Beach and areas north to New Tampa and unincorporated parts of Town 'N Country, Lake Magdalene as well as areas west and north of the University of South Florida. For a map of the water service area, go to: http://bit.ly/YrFVhB. Officials estimate that the water alert will last until Monday, Feb. 25, 2013.
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