Lynchburg, VA - City officials say a boil water advisory is a precaution, and that the chances of your drinking water actually being contaminated are very slim. However, there is a chance, so city officials are responding strongly.
"We bring the sampled water back here to test for bacterial contamination," said Tim Mitchell, the Director for Lynchburg's Department of Water Resources.
And at the Department of Water Resources, all there is to do now, is wait.
"The 36 to 48 hours is the window that we need to test the water to make sure it's safe to drink," said Mitchell.
24 water samples were taken. They sit now in incubators, waiting to be tested, to see if drinking water for more than 2,700 residents is safe.
"The water's safe to bathe in, you can wash your clothes in the water. If you consume the water in any way, whether it's you or your pets, we do recommend that you boil the water before you do that," said Mitchell.
The affected area is nearly a tenth of the city. Major thoroughfares include Old Forest Rd., Langhorne Rd., and Lakeside Dr. The city monitors affected areas by a computer-generated water model.
"Langhorne Road is right here. Crane Hill Drive, Linkhorne, to right here, Old Forest, and this is the middle school and the elementary school, right here," said Scott Parkins, a Water Resources employee, as he points to the model.
Five schools are under the advisory. "This morning we distributed water to all of our students and told them, explained the situation," said Robert Kerns, the Principal of Linkhorne Middle School.
At Linkhorne Middle, water fountains are covered, and bottled water washed the vegetables for lunch.
"Kids understand things happen, and we have little glitches here and there, and we certainly just want to reinforce to them that life goes on, we've got a job to do here, and what we do is important," said Kerns.
Linkhorne Elementary School, Laurel Regional School, Holy Cross Catholic School, and Lynchburg College were also under this advisory. Again, if you are in an affected area of the city, the earliest you may be notified that your water is safe to drink will be noon Saturday. Until that time, officials say err on the side of caution.