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June 12, 2023

Some West Philly residents should boil water as PWD continues to recover from equipment failure

The affected neighborhoods are mostly along or near City Avenue

Health News Water Quality
PWD water outage PhillyH2O/Facebook

After a pump failure in West Philly, the Philadelphia Water Department says residents in some neighborhoods need to boil water before consuming it. The advisory affects nearly all residents in the 19151 zip code should be boiling their water, along with those northern half of 19131 and small area of 19139.

The Philadelphia Water Department continues to advise residents in parts of West Philly — mostly in the neighborhoods along or near City Avenue  — to boil their water before before drinking it on Monday.

The water department issued the boil water advisory on Sunday after a pumping station serving upper West Philly failed, causing a loss of pressure in the system, leaving residents without water or experiencing very low water pressure. The pump failed sometime after 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

About 18,000 households are impacted by the advisory. Nearly all residents in the 19151 ZIP code should be boiling their water, along with those northern half of 19131 and small area of 19139. (The map lower in this article shows the areas affected or go to the PWD's site to view the map with street-level details.) The neighborhoods where residents should boil their water include all of Wynnefield Heights, Wynnefield, Overbrook Farms, Green Hill Farms, Overbrook and Morris Park, PWD officials said. Portions of Carroll Park, Haddington, West Parkside and West Fairmount Park have also been impacted.

Even as water pressure is being restored customers should not consume it without boiling it first. The concern is the potential that disease-causing organisms and bacteria entered water pipes when the pump failed and water pressure dropped. PWD is flushing the system and testing water samples for coliform bacteria. The water utility will alert residents when they can safely resume using water; repairs are expected to be completed by Tuesday, June 13.

Updates about the service outage will be shared on the PWD's website.

Boil Water MapProvided Image/Philadelphia Water Department

The Philadelphia Water Department provided a map of the West Philadelphia area that's being impacted by the boil water advisory.

Tap water intended to be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and preparing food and baby formula should be brought to a rolling boil for 1 minute and then allowed to cool.Water also needs to be boiled before it is given to pets. 

The symptoms of being exposed to coliform bacteria include nausea, diarrhea, cramps or a mild fever should avoid dehydration. Anyone with symptoms should contac a health care provider. 

Tap water remains safe for hand washing with soap, doing laundry and watering houseplants. 

Customers with questions can contact PWD's through the utility's website or by calling (215) 685-6300.

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