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New Tampa water customers told to "boil water" for 3 days

12:24 AM, May 5, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - For residents in the New Tampa, Friday afternoon was a real mess.  

Around 4 p.m., a huge water main ruptured causing the entire area from Amberly Drive to Tampa Palms Boulevard to flood. The roadway was closed down, and nearly all residents in the neighborhood subdivisions were without water.

For pictures of the water break, click here

The good news finally came just before 11pm Friday night. 

Tampa Water Department has issued the following update at 10:03 p.m. :

TAMPA, FL (May 4, 2012) - Water department crews are working to connect the newly completed segment of replacement transmission main along Bruce B. Downs to restore water service to approximately 90 percent of the customers affected by a water main rupture in New Tampa earlier today. Crews will continue to work throughout the evening and expect to incrementally restore water service to all customers by early tomorrow.

Customers with restored service are recommended to remove aerators and flush their plumbing at outdoor spigots and faucets if their water appears cloudy or they experience low pressure.

Extra crews were called in to work non-stop to restore service.

The remaining residents should have full water service restored by Saturday morning. A boil water advisory is in effect for three days for all residents in the area since sediment and contaminants are often released into the water system during a main break.

"It's really inconvenient, you take it for granted, but then as soon as you're out of it, you don't know what to do without it," said Richard Block who has lived in the Cross Creek subdivision for 15 years. "It's problematic."

Richard says he was adding more salt to his water-softener system. He noticed that the system shut down without warning.

He walked out front and saw one of his neighbors who was experiencing the same issue.

The longtime WTSP viewer contacted 10 News by sending us an email, letting us know just how bad it was near Bruce B Downs where everyone was without water.   

Richard's first thought was to call his wife Sandy to ask her to get some supplies.

"On your way home, stop by nearest market, and pick up water as you could, don't know how long will last," said Richard.

Richard and Sandy, along with tens of thousands of residents off Bruce B Downs, were without water Friday after an old water main from the 70s ruptured without warning. 

At first, people thought the break was due to construction. It turns out, the main was "just old," said a spokesperson. "We were going to replace it soon."

In fact, it was supposed to last for two more weeks before it was replaced, but it gave in and water came gushing out into the roadway. It looked like a river at one point.

Bruce Baird from the Tampa Water Department told us, "We were gonna take two weeks to do it, but now we're put extra crews, gonna do in one night for two weeks."

For previous story: Transmission main rupture causes flooding and water outages

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