This Petersburg business is determined to keep running amid boil water advisory: 'People still want to eat'

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Posted at 5:13 PM, Jul 08, 2024

PETERSBURG, Va. -- A mandatory boil water notice is currently in effect for all of Petersburg, with residents advised to consume water only if it has been boiled.

A water main break, two in fact, have been found to be the source of citywide boil water notice.

Tone Burgundy, who lives across the street from the water main break, says he will be drinking bottled water for the next couple of days.

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Tone Burgundy

"When I looked over there it was just like a small geyser, like something at Yellowstone Park or something," Burgundy said. "The water pressure is low, we don't want to use that water because it's probably contaminated."

Petersburg's Director of Public Works Jerry Byerly says residents currently cannot drink or cook with the city water.

Karen Begley, a longtime employee of Longstreet's Deli, says the advisory won't stop the restaurant from finding other ways to get safe water and stay up and running.

"Got to keep going, people still want to eat," Begley said. "We carted in water from Colonial Heights, our ice has all been harvested prior to the water break."

While fountain drinks are out of the question, sweet tea is not.

"We got great sweet tea, we boiled the water for that so it’s good to drink," Begley said.

Across the city, some homes have water, while others do not.

"The higher elevation your home is, the more likely you are to have no pressure, no water or really low pressure," Byerly said. "The water is running here because we're trying to get pressure off the line to fix it. We can't cut a line that's still pressurized."

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 Petersburg Director Public Works Jerry Byerly

There are two breaks in the 12-inch water main that need repairs. The city is now not only asking for residents to boil their water, but also to not boil any more water than necessary.

Byerly also says the color of your faucet water can also matter when it comes to doing laundry.

"If you open your faucet and your water starts to get brown, let it run a little bit until your water is clear for a while," Byerly said. "I wouldn’t do a load of laundry or white clothes in it, because if you do, those whites will be ruined by the rust."

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