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A boil water advisory has been lifted for D.C. and Arlington ahead of July 4 influx

The newly built DC Water Headquarters across the Anacostia River and the Dome of the U.S. Capitol Building are visible from the Department of Homeland Security's St. Elizabeths Campus in Washington, Thursday, June 15, 2023.
Andrew Harnik
/
AP
The newly built DC Water Headquarters across the Anacostia River and the Dome of the U.S. Capitol Building are visible from the Department of Homeland Security's St. Elizabeths Campus in Washington, Thursday, June 15, 2023.

Updated July 04, 2024 at 09:27 AM ET

A water boil advisory for Washington, D.C., and parts of Arlington, Va, was lifted early Thursday, a relief as the nation’s capital prepares to host a massive influx of visitors to enjoy the annual Fourth of July celebrations.

The advisory had been issued because of a decrease in water supply due to concerns over its “unknown quality,” the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority announced Wednesday. Local authorities said the water boil advisory was precautionary, and also covered the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and Reagan National Airport and would be in effect until water was deemed safe to drink.

In their update Thursday morning, officials said drinking water provided by the Washington Aqueduct "never deviated from U.S. EPA established water quality standards as had been anticipated."

John Lisle, DC Water's vice president of marketing and communications, admitted the initial advisory was "terrible timing since it's the 4th of July. And obviously folks plan to be celebrating."

The Army Corps of Engineers had told DC Water it was reducing operations at the Dalecarlia Water Treatment Plant because algae blooms were causing increased turbidity, which is used to measure cloudiness in the water. Engineers switched to another water plant, but again began pumping some water from Dalecarlia to have enough for firefighting.

“Turbidity has no health effects,” DC Water said. “However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms.”

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Ayana Archie
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Jennifer Ludden helps edit energy and environment stories for NPR's National Desk, working with NPR staffers and a team of public radio reporters across the country. They track the shift to clean energy, state and federal policy moves, and how people and communities are coping with the mounting impacts of climate change.

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