BREAKING NEWS: DRINKING WATER ADVISORY

Public Safety  |  May 28, 2021

CYLINDROSPERMOPSIN IS PRESENT IN THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH’S WATER SYSTEM

INFANTS, YOUNG CHILDREN AND OTHER VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS: DO NOT DRINK THE TAP WATER.

Why Is There an Advisory?

Cylindrospermopsin, a toxin produced by cyanobacteria (formerly known as blue-green algae), was detected in the drinking water from the City of West Palm Beach’s Water Treatment Plant on May 20, 2021. Elevated levels of toxins have been detected in the raw water samples collected from the East Lobe of Clear Lake and the finished water at the treatment plant that supplies water to the City of West Palm Beach, Town of Palm Beach and Town of South Palm Beach.

The City of West Palm Beach is taking the following actions to reduce cylindrospermopsin levels:

The City has activated its emergency wells to introduce ground water into the surface water supply,
Added powdered activated carbon into the treatment system at the water treatment plant,
Increased free chlorine levels within the final stages of the treatment process, and
Will initiate a switch to a stronger disinfectant on May 29, 2021 that is identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce levels of the toxin.

Samples collected on May 17, 24 and 25, 2021 show cylindrospermopsin in the drinking water at levels, which are above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s cylindrospermopsin national drinking water Health Advisory for the vulnerable populations (listed below) of 0.7 micrograms per liter (µg/L).

What Should I Do?

The following vulnerable populations should Not Drink the tap water, because they may be vulnerable to the effects of cylindrospermopsin:

Infants,
Young children under the age of six,
Pregnant women and nursing mothers,
Those with pre-existing liver conditions,
Those receiving dialysis treatment, and
As a precautionary measure, the elderly and other sensitive populations should consider following these advisory instructions.
Vulnerable populations, listed above, should use alternative sources of water for drinking, making infant formula, making ice and preparing food and beverages.

Animals are also vulnerable to adverse health effects of cylindrospermopsin exposure. Consider providing animals alternative sources of drinking water. Contact a veterinarian if your animals show signs of illness.

Do Not Boil the tap water. Boiling the water will not destroy toxins and may increase the toxin levels.
Individuals not considered to be in the vulnerable category, as listed above, may drink the water.
Everyone may use the tap water for showering, bathing, washing hands, washing dishes, flushing toilets, cleaning and doing laundry. However, infants and young children under the age of six should be supervised while bathing and during other tap water-related activities to prevent accidental ingestion of water.

What is Being Done?

The City of West Palm Beach is working closely with the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and along with the City’s Emergency Operations Center to address the situation and quickly reduce cylindrospermopsin levels in the tap water.
The City of West Palm will post an updated advisory when: The cylindrospermopsin levels are less than or equal to the national drinking water Health Advisories, this Do Not Drink Advisory is lifted and/or if there are any changes to the conditions of this Do Not Drink Advisory.

City of West Palm Beach Establishes POD for Water Delivery to Impacted Residents
The City of West Palm Beach has established a point of distribution (POD) for the distribution of bottled water to any West Palm Beach, Town of Palm Beach, or South Palm Beach resident affected by the drinking water advisory. Impacted residents may pick up a supply of water at the following location during these dates and times:

LOCATION: Gaines Park, 1501 Australian Ave.
DATES/TIMES: May 29-31, 2021 (Sat. – Mon.), 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

More Information & Future Updates
Residents with questions can call the city’s hotline at:
(561) 822-2222 (TTY 800-955-8771).
Future updates will be shared on the city’s website, wpb.org, with the media, and on the city’s primary social media platforms:
Facebook @CityofWPB and Twitter @westpalmbch.

Town post here.

 

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