Can you drink tap water after the earthquake?
Officials in Anchorage say water in the city is fine to drink and a previous boil advisory has been lifted; however, officials in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough say the water there is still "murky."
"The Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility has completed water quality sampling and bacteriological testing throughout the Anchorage drinking water distribution system," officials with AWWU said in a press release on Sunday afternoon. "Findings from those tests have confirmed that the water system is operating normally and was not contaminated as a result of the earthquake. As a result, AWWU is lifting the precautionary Boil Water Advisory. Water from your tap is safe for all uses."
In a press conference on Sunday morning, municipal manager Bill Falsey said the city’s water system was functioning normally. Utility crews and contractors are working around the city responding to mainline breaks from the earthquake.
"Utility crews are doing underground repairs, undertaking repairs at 74th and Nathan, at Lily Pond Circle, at First and Orca, and at Ship Creek Avenue," Falsey said. "Contractors are undertaking some significant repairs on the mainline near the municipal bus barn at Elmore Road and the Briggs Bridge on Eagle River Loop is going to be closed for some utility work."
The Girwood well and water system is also functioning normally, according to Falsey. There is no concern about water quality or loss of pressure, so the boiling water advisory has been lifted in that area.
The damage assessment of the AWWU system found some damage at the Eklutna Water Treatment Facility and at the headquarters building that will require more extensive work, but that is not impeding operations.
"Safe and reliable service for drinking water and fire protection is our primary concern," AWWU officials said in a press release. "AWWU will continue sampling as a matter of quality control, especially in the areas where mainline breaks have occurred, for water quality assurance."
Otto Feather, the Mat-Su borough's director of emergency services, said that officials were aware some borough residents were getting "murky water" out of wells due to silt that had been stirred up by the quake.
So far, he said, the borough's recommendations were simply to boil water before consuming it and buy filters from home-improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe's.
"I think people will go through quite a few of those before they’re done," Feather said. "The great thing about the Valley is that we’ve got a lot of really sturdy folks."
Feather suggests those in the Mat-Su area visit the state DEC website for more information.
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