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About 4,000 customers impacted by line break must boil water

For more information

• To contact the water authority: 724-755-5800 or

• General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

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By Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Thursday, March 27, 2014, 11:33 a.m.

Water was turned back on Thursday afternoon — but it must be conserved and boiled — for about 4,000 customers in Allegheny and West-moreland counties because of a water main break earlier in the week, according to the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County.

A break in a 30-inch transmission line along Route 993 in North Huntingdon has been repaired, and the line was pressurized and filled with water, authority officials said Thursday. The line broke when a construction crew was blasting a nearby hillside, triggering a landslide onto the highway where the water line was located.

Customers in the impacted areas should boil water until testing is completed. That 48-hour process started on Thursday afternoon, authority spokeswoman Gina Cerilli said.

“It's a precautionary measure that we're taking,” she said.

Cerilli said she hopes the test results will be in Saturday morning, but residents should continue to boil their water until they are notified by the authority.

Authority officials said customers will be notified with pre-recorded phone calls. Information will be posted on the authority website and social media pages.

Residents in Cavittsville in North Huntingdon, Wall, North Versailles and the South Trafford, Wallace Avenue and Brownstone Court areas in Trafford “may be at increased risk for microbial contamination,” according to a notice from the authority.

The water authority is thoroughly flushing the system, Cerilli said.

Customers should bring the water to a rolling boil for about a minute, then cool it before using. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and food preparation until further notice, Cerilli said.

Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms, including bacteria, viruses and parasites, which can cause nausea, cramps, diarrhea and headaches, officials said.

Those with severely compromised immune systems, infants and some elderly people may be at increased risk. They should seek advice about drinking water from a health care provider, officials said.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or



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