It’s not exactly the same as when people flock to grocery stores to stock up on milk, bread, and toilet paper as a snowstorm approaches — the emptying of bottled water from some Arlington, Virginia, and Northwest D.C. shelves on Friday and Saturday was due to the spur-of-the-moment inconvenience of a boil water advisory in much of those areas.
Saturday morning saw grocery stores restocking shelves with plastic gallon bottles and individual bottles of drinking water. Friday’s run came after a morning water main break prompted a boil water advisory, which will likely be in effect through Sunday afternoon.
At a Harris Teeter on Glebe Road in Arlington, employees rolled large pallets of water that had been delivered overnight onto the store’s sales floor.
Ahhhh. Palettes of water are arriving at grocery stores affected by water main break in Arlington. Boil water advisory continues in much of Arlington, part of NW DC. Some shelves of bottled water were emptied Friday. https://t.co/AifB6zK5i1 pic.twitter.com/WknILbgXGq
— Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) November 9, 2019
Front-of-store displays went from barren to fully-stocked, as employees removed plastic wrap covering the bottles.
By Friday night, most of the bottled water on shelves had been sold, save for a few glass bottles of pricier Perrier sparkling water.
Since the 36-inch water main break near the Chain Bridge happened early Friday, and the boil water advisory was declared a few hours later, stores had enough time to increase scheduled deliveries of water for Saturday and Sunday.
While demand for bottled water will remain high during the advisory, local water officials were quick to remind residents that water boiled for three minutes, and allowed to cool, is then safe to drink.