Port Angeles water main break affects 230 buildings

PORT ANGELES — City crews were expected to restore water service by early this morning after a 20-inch water main broke on Tuesday, shooting water some 80 feet in the air, the city Public Works director said Wednesday afternoon.

Once the pipe near Golf Course Road is repaired, it will be disinfected and flushed with water samples sent out for testing for bacteria. Residents will be told to boil tap water before using it for drinking, cooking, making ice and brushing teeth.

Test results are expected to be back by Friday and if they are clear then the boil-water advisory will be lifted, said Public Works Director Thomas Hunter.

“We hope to have everything back to normal for Christmas,” he said Wednesday.

The break affected about 230 homes and two commercial facilities in the areas south of East Fourth Street, north of Woodhaven Drive, east of Penn Street and west of Delguzzi Drive, according to the city website at www.cityofpa.us/civicalerts.aspx?aid=1118.

The cause of the break likely was the high water table and low temperatures putting a strain on an aging pipe, according to Hunter.

“It’s not atypical to have water main breaks in these temperature swings,” he said.

Those who did not experience low pressure or a complete shutoff of water on Tuesday will not have to boil their water. City crews are placing door hangers at homes that have been impacted by the outage, according to the city website.

To make sure water is safe once the repair has been made, residents are told to bring tap water to a rolling boil for one minute to kill bacteria and other organisms that may have been introduced into the water. Alternatively, they can use bottled water.

Tap water is safe for showering, bathing, and for other household needs including washing dishes in the dishwasher as long as the heat/sanitizing cycle and commercial dishwashing detergent are used, the city said.

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