FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A water main break that affected 6 Broward cities and left a quarter million people with the possibility of no water for Christmas was fixed late Saturday night, but while water service was reestored those affected have been told to boil it until further notice, just to be safe.
The Ft. Lauderdale Department of Public Works said the 42-inch main ruptured shortly after 8 p.m. Christmas Eve. The break caused a residents of portions of Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Lauderdale-by-the Sea, and the City of Ft. Lauderdale to either completely lose water service or suffer under reduced pressure.
The area affected covered approximately 250 thousand people, according to the public works department. At first, city officials had warned people in the areas served by the main that they could face Christmas without water service, but by 11:30 Christmas Eve, crews had diverted the water to other lines, around the break, and restored service.
The city imposed the boil water on any water intended for human consumption, including cooking, brushing teeth, and drinking. City spokesperson Matt Little could not say when the order might be lifted, as it must first pass tests for safety.
The advisory, issued with the Broward Health Department, covers all water customers in Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Oakland Park, Port Everglades Authority, Village of Sea Ranch Lakes, Wilton Manors and sections of Davie and Tamarac.
The outage caused a huge number of 9-1-1 calls in Broward, and BSO asked people not to call the emergency line unless there is a true emergency.
Some residents complained that they could not reach City of Fort Lauderdale numbers published for the reporting of water problems.
One customers commented on CBSMiami.com, “I started calling shortly after the water pressure dropped and got a busy signal for the next 2 hours – I found out about the break from friends in the area via Facebook.”
“The city needs to find a better solution than relying solely on their office phone system to handle a situation like this, leaving most callers with nothing more than a busy signal.”