The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services is requiring all Dunkirk water customers to boil their water before using and conserve water as much as possible.
HHS says construction at the city’s water plant caused a large leak which could have allowed contaminants to enter the system and has depleted the drinking water supply.
“Temporary repairs have been made to the water leak, but water levels are critically low," said HHS Director Christine Schuyler, "so the City and County are asking for the cooperation of all Dunkirk water customers to conserve water as much as possible during this water emergency.”
All residential and commercial customers are being urged to bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute and allow it to cool before using it for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth and making ice, or use bottled water from a state Department of Health-approved source. The water can still be used for bathing and washing.
"Because water levels have been depleted, all non-essential water use must be discontinued immediately, including that used for manufacturing and other industrial purposes until further notice," said Schuyler. "Residential customers are asked to conserve water by limiting laundry and showers and use paper and plastic ware for eating to decrease dish washing. Industrial users and schools are being asked to shut down to conserve water until water levels are stabilized."
She said this boil water order and water conservation order is expected to be in effect through the weekend.
Water customers will be updated on this situation through the news media and by automated telephone messages using the New York Alert system. Updates and additional information will also be posted on the Chautauqua County website at http://chautauqua.ny.us/ and on the City of Dunkirk’s website at http://www.dunkirktoday.com.