TECO: Squirrel caused David L. Tippin Water Treatment Facility power outage

12:45 AM, Feb 23, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Tampa Electric says a "perfect" storm of events occurred Friday that caused a power outage at a City of Tampa water treatment plant.

TECO says the outage of one of two underground power lines was likely caused by a squirrel or other animal. The problem with the city's equipment also exacerbated the issue by causing the second line to fail, leaving the plant without power.

TECO restored service to both lines by 3:30 p.m. and has worked with the City to resolve their equipment issues. By 4 p.m., the water treatment plant was operating at full power.

Despite the fact that all is clear with the plant, residents will be dealing with their water problem because of the outage for the next 48 hours. City officials are advising all Tampa residents and businesses to boil their water over the next couple of days or until the all-clear is given.

BluePearl Veterinary Partners says area pet owners should take the same precautions for their pets that they would for themselves.

"Various health issues can be caused by consuming unsafe water," said Tony Ishak, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM, a specialist in veterinary internal medicine at BluePearl. "If your pet is exhibiting symptoms associated with gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea, vomiting or lethargy, you should contact your family veterinarian as soon as possible, or if it is after hours, we would be glad to help at one of our locations." 

Vets say additional symptoms of gastrointestinal infections include bloating, loss of appetite and low-grade fever.

In order to make sure your water's safe, you should bring water to a rolling boil and hold it there for one minute. You should boiled for all types of consumption including brushing teeth, washing fruits and vegetables, and homemade ice.

Officials say tap water is okay to use for showering, baths, shaving and washing as long as you don't swallow or allow water in eyes, nose or mouth.

Additional information and details will be provided as they become available on tampagov.net/water.

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