UPDATE: Parkersburg returns to normal after end of boil order advisory

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Update: 1/14/2019 4:45 P.M.

The city of Parkersburg is mostly back to normal, after the water system problems leading to a boll advisory late last week that impacted the entire city.

While some businesses had to close, others, like the Wendy's restaurants in Parkersburg, found ways to stay open.

Stores in surrounding cities provided water and other materials to the Parkersburg locations.

That included the Gihon Road restaurant, which also was affected after the boil order was extended to the south side.

"Not that we knew at that point, but we had used Mineral Wells, Belpre and the Vienna locations to assist the stores that were affected," said Wendy's Regional Manager Ray Blackburn. "Once we learned (the south side store) was involved, then that store had to be on the same program the other stores were on."

Meanwhile, Parkersburg Utility Board Manager Eric Bennett says its offices have received calls from residents about discoloration in their water.

That's since the boil order was lifted Sunday night.

But Bennett says the system has been flushed, and continued testing has shown no water contamination.

The utility board is meeting Tuesday to discuss its response to the problem.


UPDATE: 1/13/19 6:43 p.m.

The Parkersburg Utility Board sent a press release indicating that the boil advisory for the city's water supply has been lifted.

The treatment facility says it is returning to normal operation.

They request that if customers experience discolored water, please run cold water in your bathtub for 5-10 minutes to remedy the issue.

If the problem persists, contact the Parkersburg Utility Board.


UPDATE: 1/13/19 6:30 p.m.

On Friday the entire city was put under the boil advisory that recommends residents avoid drinking, and washing with the city water.

Flushing of the system was completed Saturday and samples of the water were sent out Saturday night.

The Parkersburg Utility Board says it will take close to a day to receive results back.

“We checked the sampling sights and went ahead and took sample. It will take 23 to 24 hours before we get the results of those samples. Our anticipation is that it will be good, ” explains Eric Bennett, the manager of the Parkersburg Utility Board.

The Parkersburg Utility Board says they may receive results as early as 6:00 Sunday night.


UPDATE: 1/12/2019 6:33 P.M.

The Parkersburg Utility Board has sent an updated press release stating the issue hasn't been fully resolved.

According to the press release, operations personnel have received minimal calls related to discolored water in the distribution system.

At the current rate of pumping and consumption it would likely be Sunday morning before flushing could begin.

After flushing is completed, sampling will begin and results take 22 to 24 hours.


UPDATE: 1/11/2019 9:58 P.M.

The Parkersburg Utility Board says all of Parkersburg is now under the boil water advisory. The board called the station just before 10 p.m. Friday night with the new information. The entire press release is attached to this article.

Parkersburg Utility Board Manager Eric Bennett says the entire city is now under the boil water advisory because they are pumping the entire system to fix the problem. He says the advisory could last all weekend.

For more information contact the Utility Board Office at (304) 424-8535 or at 125 19th St. Parkersburg, WV 26101. General guidelines on ways to lessen the health risk are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1(800) 426-4791.


UPDATE: 1/11/2019 6:20 P.M.

At least one restaurant-Starbucks on Grand Central Avenue-decided not to open Friday. Another-the Corner Café-did, but closed when it would have been full of lunchtime customers.

it said it did so after getting a notice of what it had to do to stay open when Parkersburg city water wasn't available.

"We couldn't serve coffee, Pepsi, absolutely no drinks," said Owner Marilyn Plum. "We couldn't make lunch, because our soup beans are made with water. We had to boil the water first, then do the soup beans. It affects everything, even the sinks you wash your hands in."

Two other downtown restaurants-the Crystal Café and The Coffee Bar-made sure their water for cooking was boiled, and offered water from the bottle instead of the tap to customers.

When hearing of the boil advisory, Wood County Schools went shopping, buying 5,000 bottles of water for students, and shutting down drinking fountains.

"We supplied all the schools with hand sanitizer as they needed it," said Superintendent Will Hosaflook. "Mrs. Best, our child nutritionist, contacted all our cafeteria managers and we changed up all our menus to use a limited amount of water for our cooking."

But for the Corner Café, bottled water wasn't an option.

"If you have to bring bottled water in for everything you cook," Plum said, "it's going to be expensive, too."


UPDATE: 1/11/2019

Parkersburg Utility Board Manager Eric Bennett says crews are still working to resolve a problem that led to the issuing of a boil advisory for the part of the city north of the Little Kanawha River.

Bennett said late Friday afternoon the city was still doing flushing of the water system, and the boil order could be lifted by late Friday night.

But as of late Friday afternoon, it remains in effect.


ORIGINAL STORY: 1/10/2019

Officials in Parkersburg have issued a boil advisory all water customers north of the Little Kanawha River while crews work to fix a problem that caused reduced pressure and discolored water.

The city's utility board said the problem affects as many as 10,000 customers, roughly half of the city's water customers.

The order is in effect until further notice.

The utility board said they're working to fix a problem with a relief valve at the water-treatment plant that resulted in reduced pressure in higher elevations and a reversal of flow in the system. That resulted in mineral deposits, which led to discolored water.

Crews are currently flushing the system as they work to fix the problem.

In the meantime, officials said customers should use bottled water or boil water for one minute and then let it cool before using it.

The utility board said water samples will be collected and tested to make sure the water is safe before the order is lifted.

For more information, contact the utility board office at 304-424-8535 or at 125 19th St., Parkersburg.

You can obtain information about general guidelines about ways to reduce health risks by calling the EPA's safe drinking water hotline at 800-426-4791.



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