D.C. do-not-drink order canceled

WASHINGTON – DC Water says that the do-not-drink order has been lifted for the Shaw and Logan Circle neighborhood.

Test results indicate that the petroleum substance is no longer in the water, the utility said Friday afternoon.

Customers should flush their water systems for five to 10 minutes before using any water.

Officials continue to investigate to find the source of the petroleum. A bad boiler in a building or even spilled oil from an auto repair shop could have created the contamination.

The utility restricted water use in the area Wednesday afternoon leaving about 350 customers without safe water for drinking, cooking or bathing. Businesses were shuttered and several neighborhood schools were closed Thursday and Friday.

DC Water expanded the do-not-drink order Thursday as it continued to search for the source of the contamination. And overnight, the public utility flushed water lines a second time in an effort to rid the water of the petroleum product.

About 400 customers, homes and businesses, were affected.

Friday morning, workers took more samples and sent them to a lab at Fort Meade to determine what type of petroleum product is in the water and whether the water is safe to drink after system was flushed.

“What the tests have shown so far is that there is some type of petroleum product in the water in low concentration,” says John Lisle, a spokesman for DC Water

DC Water has conducted a sweep of the neighborhood to try and find the source of contamination, the utility tweeted. The utility is also asking anyone with information about the source of the leak to call DC Water at 202-612-3400.

Tips for flushing:

  • Begin at the sink on the lowest floor and run each cold water tap for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, move to upper level sinks and run each cold water tap for 5 minutes.
  • Flush your refrigerator’s water dispenser for 5 minutes.
  • Discard any ice that was made during the do-not-drink order.
  • For automatic ice makers, make and discard one cycle of ice.


WTOP’s Andrew Mollenbeck and Mike Murillo contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on Facebook.

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