Thursday, April 2, 2009

Georgia Citizens in Storm Affected Area Water Alert

Public Water and Wastewater Systems located in the potential impact area of Severe Weather
For Citizens in the Storm-Affected Areas:

The possibility of severe weather that includes heavy rains, large hail, gusty winds and isolated tornados threatens the majority of Georgia. Numerous portions of southwest and south-central Georgia have experienced heavy soaking rains over the past several days. This has caused minor to moderate flooding in numerous southwest Georgia counties. A large frontal system remains over the majority of Georgia. This front will sweep through Georgia tonight and the impact of these storms may cause problems with the supply of drinking water to citizens. The heavy rains have also overwhelmed several wastewater treatment plants causing them to by-pass water. The high winds or flooding may result in a loss of electrical power, flooding or damage to drinking water and wastewater facilities. A possible health hazard could then exist from the introduction of water of unknown quality into the water distribution system, storage tanks and sources of water supply.

If citizens experience a water supply outage or low water pressure, the Environmental Protection Division advises that all water be “boiled” prior to use for drinking, cooking, or preparing baby food in order to protect themselves from a potential health hazard. The water should be boiled for at least one minute after reaching a rolling boil, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers. Citizens should continue to boil their water before use until they are notified by their drinking water utility that the water system has been restored to full operation, and that the microbiological quality of the water in the distribution system is safe for human consumption. Unopened bottled water does not need to be boiled.

If boiling water is not feasible or bottled water is unavailable, then emergency disinfection of drinking water should be considered. Water disinfection procedures can be found on the United States Environmental Protection Agency website at It is recommended that the instructions be printed and saved for use later if needed.

For additional information, please visit the Environmental Protection Division's website, For specific questions please contact EPD's Drinking Water Program at 404-656-2750.
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