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Boil water alert issued for communities in Chester, Lancaster counties

Andrew Maykuth - Philly Inquirer

Pennsylvania American Water advised residents in several communities to boil their tap water after a water main break in Parkesburg put the system at risk of contamination.

Pennsylvania American Water on Tuesday called on residents in several communities in Chester and Lancaster Counties to boil their tap water after a water main break in Parkesburg borough put the system at risk of contamination.

The notice applies to about 300 customers in Parkesburg Borough, and in addition to some customers in parts of Atglen Borough and Bart Township, Lancaster County.

Pennsylvania American, a subsidiary of American Water Works Co. Inc. of Camden, said a water main break caused a loss of positive water pressure, which “is a signal of the existence of conditions that could allow contamination to enter the distribution system through back-flow by back pressure or back siphonage.”

Customers are advised to use boiled or bottled water for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and food preparation until further notice. Water should be brought to a rolling boil on a stove for a minute and then allowed to cool before using.

The company said it is working to repair the main break. It has made bottled water available at Keystone Fire Department located at 329 West 1st Ave. in Parkesburg.

Under state regulations, the company will now collect and analyze water for bacteria. Two consecutive days of “clean” test results are required before the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will allow the advisory to be lifted. (Test results take 18-24 hours to come back from the laboratory, so it can take several days before an advisory is lifted.)

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