Two days after a construction accident damaged a water-main pipe in Fort Lauderdale, halting the flow of water to the city and surrounding areas in Broward County, residents were urged Saturday to continue following a boil-water advisory until further notice.
The advisory is in effect for the 220,000 residents in Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Oakland Park, Port Everglades Authority, Village of Sea Ranch Lakes, Wilton Manors and sections of Davie and Tamarac east of U.S. Highway 441.
The city of Fort Lauderdale, which supplies water to neighboring municipalities, said Friday that the 42-inch water main had been temporarily repaired and service was restored to Fort Lauderdale water customers, but the boil-water notice remained in effect.
Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Ben Sorenson said Friday that the boil-water advisory would remain active until at least Sunday. Eighty-nine sites throughout the city must pass two rounds of testing before the notice can be lifted, he said.
The advisory states that residents should let water boil for one minute and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. The water might be contaminated with viruses, bacteria or parasites that can make you — or your pets — sick.
Common symptoms include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches and fatigue, according to a Texas A&M University Corpus Christi safety guide. Young children, pregnant women and older people may be more susceptible to becoming ill. Symptoms can appear in a few hours to several days after getting infected.
“Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation until further notice,” it says. “Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.”
The water main supplies raw water from Fort Lauderdale’s wellfields to the Fiveash water treatment plant. Crews are now focused on a permanent fix.
Gov. Ron DeSantis sent down semi-trucks filled with bottled water to the affected areas on Thursday.
The city entered a local state of emergency Thursday after a Florida Power & Light subcontractor damaged the water-main pipe at Florida Executive Airport. An on-site supervisor for the subcontractor was issued a notice to appear in Broward Court for working without city permits.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said the malfunction of a back-up water line may be linked to aging infrastructure, which he said was installed up to 60 years ago.
The city said it would distribute bottled water from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and beginning at 8 a.m. on Sunday at the following locations: Beach Community Center, 3351 NE 33rd Ave.; Mills Pond Park, 2201 NW Ninth Ave., Riverland Park, 950 SW 27th Ave.