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Boil water notice lifted after City of Tampa tests water

4:15 PM, Feb 24, 2013   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida - The precautionary Boil Water Notice in effect for all City of Tampa water customers is lifted.

The City of Tampa has announced on its website that the precautionary boil water notice, put into effect Friday after a power outage at the city's water pumping station, has been lifted.

Test results confirm that water being provided to customers is safe to consume.

The City of Tampa began water quality testing after a treatment facility power outage on Friday, Feb. 22.

Crews tested 25 samples taken from different points throughout the city.

The precautionary boil water notice could not be lifted until Sunday at the earliest, the city says.

The city does have backup generators, but everything appears to have failed in a perfect storm. A small animal is reported to have chewed through a power line at the main plant that supplies electricity to the water treatment facility. But there was a power surge in at the backup substation that also short circuited the switch that is supposed to turn on the treatment facility's first backup generator, which means it never turned on.

By the time water officials noticed and flipped the switch in a second generator, bad water began flowing into homes and businesses within Tampa.

Those who drank the tainted water may experience flu-like symptoms, according to the Health Department. They include a soured stomach, cramping and diarrhea, but it is important to note that some of the symptoms may not become clear for several more days.

In Ybor City, bars and clubs worked all day Saturday to prepare for the influx of people who normally flock to the area.

"I was at Sam's Club half the morning, so I got all the bottled water," said David Scott, owner of the Bad Monkey bar along 7th Street.

While businesses hoped it wouldn't keep customers away, some told us they had second thoughts about coming out Saturday night. "We were a little hesitant to drink any mixed drinks, anything with ice, if we're not sure where the water came from," said Bridgette Soto, a customer at Coyote Ugly.

For more information about the precautionary boil water notice, go online to tampagov.net. Customers can also sign up for Alert Tampa to receive important information and emergency notifications, including information about boil water notices, from the City of Tampa. To sign up for Alert Tampa, visit tampagov.net/Alert Tampa.

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