Petersburg urges everyone to boil water to avoid getting sick after water main break

Posted at 9:44 AM, Jul 08, 2024

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Everyone who drinks or uses water from the City of Petersburg should boil the water before use, the City of Petersburg announced Monday. The boil water advisory comes after a water main break on Sunday.

"City of Petersburg utility crews are working to repair a significant water line break at 800 Arlington Street. The line broke early Sunday afternoon, July 7. Water to this line comes directly from the City’s main water supply line," a city spokesperson advised. "Residents are asked to conserve water until repairs are completed. Some residents in the Arlington Street area are without water, and others throughout the City are experiencing low pressure. Public works crews are re-routing water supply feeds so that most of the water tanks throughout the City will remain full."

Water Line Break in Petersburg

The cause of the break is unknown at this time.

As for the boil water advisory, the city provided the following information:


Failure to follow this advisory could result in stomach or intestinal illness.

The Virginia Department of Health, in conjunction with the Petersburg Health Department, and Petersburg Utilities Division Water System are advising residents in the City of Petersburg who recently were without water or experienced very low water pressure due to a water leak, to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a safety precaution. This precaution is necessary because there was a water main repair that resulted in loss of pressure.


Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, beverage and food preparation, and making ice until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Boiling is the preferred method to ensure tap water is safe to drink. Bring all tap water to a rolling boil, let it boil for one (1) minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water.

If you cannot boil your tap water.

An alternative purification method for residents who do not have gas or electricity available is to use liquid household bleach to disinfect water. The bleach product should be recently purchased, free of additives and scents, and should contain a hypochlorite solution of at least 5.25%. Public health officials recommend adding eight (8) drops of bleach (about a teaspoon) to each gallon of water. The water should be stirred and allowed to stand for at least 30 minutes before use.

Water purification tablets may also be used by following the manufacturer's instructions.

The City of Petersburg will inform you when you no longer need to boil your water. To address this problem, we are flushing the system, sampling for chlorine, and completing the required bacteriological testing. We anticipate resolving the problem within 24 to 48 hours.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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