Boil water advisory lifted for all areas

by: Aaron Diamant, Lori Wilson, Matt Johnson Updated:

ATLANTA - The city of Atlanta has lifted the boil water advisory issued on Thursday for all areas. 

Thousands of metro Atlanta homes and businesses remained under the boil water advisory Friday morning after a power outage at a drinking water treatment plant.

Samples taken throughout the affected area confirmed no system-wide contamination of the public drinking water system occurred as a result of the power interruption at Hemphill pump station.  

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed updated residents on social media Friday saying out of an abundance of caution, the two areas remain under the advisory until final testing is completed.

The city of Atlanta says streets in downtown Atlanta to the south, including South Fulton County, east to Moreland Avenue and west of downtown may have experienced a loss of pressure.

Impacted areas included, but were not limited to Cabbagetown, Edgewood, Old Fourth Ward, West End, Peoplestown, Reynoldstown, Mechanicsville, Summerhill, Edgewood, Avon Avenue and South Fulton County.


A boil water advisory is in effect for parts of metro Atlanta.

Customers in these areas were told to boil water for 1 minute past a rolling boil before using it for cooking, drinking or brushing teeth. Infants, the elderly and those with immune deficiencies should be particularly careful.

The city told Channel 2's Matt Johnson that the advisory was put in place out of an abundance of caution. 

"We made a conservative estimate of the area based on the area that served and what we see in our monitoring station," said Watershed Commissioner Kishia Powell.

Emory University Hospital Midtown and Grady Memorial Hospital were also impacted by low water pressure.

Atlanta Watershed tells Channel 2’s Aaron Diamant that a power failure at the Hemphill Treatment plant in northwest Atlanta shut off the pumps for about 40 minutes Thursday morning and they couldn't treat the water properly due to a loss in pressure.


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The boil order forced restaurants to close and businesses like King of Pops in Inman Park to shut down production for the day.

"For a business like ours, we're just going through so much water that it's really not feasible or economical for us to try to boil all the water we're going to use,” said Jared Pyles, of King of Pop. “Plus, we use water for cleaning things, so that water would have to get boiled for cleaning the tools we're using to make the popsicles… it's just too much."

Powell told Diamant the department is still trying to figure out what caused the power outage that knocked the high-service pumps offline, causing a drop in pressure that prevented proper drinking water treatment.

"We do an after-action assessment anytime something like this happens," Powell said.

Powell says the boil water advisory has nothing to do with sewage. That system is separate.

The concern is over whether water was siphoned back into the drinking water system after the pressure loss.

The outage combined with a water main break in northwest Atlanta left several homes without power and with little to no water.

“It came on. It was on for a while, I showered--very important--but now it's back off,” said Marc Allaire, who lives diagonal from where the main broke.

Channel 2’s Lori Wilson spoke to several residents who are convinced this break was what led to water problems at Piedmont Hospital.

The hospital, which is about two blocks away, was also without water for awhile Thursday morning. The hospital said its problems were not because of the break. They sent Wilson the following statement:

"Earlier this morning, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital experienced loss of water resulting from a power outage at a City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management plant. In response, fire trucks were brought on campus to supplement the water supply to the air conditioning chillers and physicians were encourage to cancel outpatient and elective procedures. Water pressure has been restored at this time."

A spokesperson for the Department of Watershed and a spokesperson for Piedmont Hospital told Wilson the issues the hospital had were connected to the larger power outage at the water plant not the break.

If you have experienced a loss of water at your address, but your address is not within the area described, you may want to follow the precautions as well.

In the meantime, the city is waiting on water quality results at the Hemphill water treatment plant as thousand of families adapt. 

"Well obviously we have to take precautions," Atlanta resident, Josh Minter told Channel 2's Matt Johnson.

Minter said that when his family noticed low water pressure at their house in Cabbagetown, the concern became their 10-month-old daughter. 

"The most difficult challenge is not bathing the baby," Minter told Johnson. 

They're among the thousands of affected residents in parts of Atlanta and South Fulton County under a boil water advisory. 

"It seems like they charge us enough for the water, they should be able to keep the service continuous," Minter said. 

"We don't expect there will be any problems with water quality," Commissioner Powell said. "But, we want to make sure that we act out of an abundance of caution." 

You'll only find store-brought ice cubes and boiled water at Joffrey's Cafe & Lounge in Hapeville, whose manager, Dezma Gainer said taking those steps was definitely necessary. 

Gainer said that when she learned of the boil advisory, she knew staying open for customers meant staying safe. 

"We would never want them to walk away from here and something happens to them because of our carelessness," Gainer told Johnson.