Boil-water advisory for Tampa water customers - WFLA News Channel 8

Boil-water advisory for Tampa water customers

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If you receive your tap water from the City of Tampa, you need to boil it before you drink it.

Officials at the Tampa Water Department say a power failure affected the City of Tampa David L. Tippin Water Treatment Facility Friday afternoon. The power problem resulted in either temporary low pressure or loss of water service for customers.

Tampa Electric officials say a "perfect storm" of events caused the power outage, starting around 5:30 a.m. They suspect a squirrel or some other animal likely caused an outage on an underground power line that served the Tippin water plant. A problem with the city's equipment caused the second power line to fail.

Brad Baird, the director of the Tampa Water Department, says a power surge then shorted out a switch that would have allowed a back up power system to take over.

Baird says, " The internal power system, we also lost a switch, so we had to repair that switch before we could use the backup power."

Water officials have issued a boil-water advisory until 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The Tampa Water Department serves more than 560,000 people, some of them live in unincorporated Hillsborough County.

TECO officials say the water plant was operating entirely on TECO-supplied electricity by 4 p.m. Friday.

St. Joseph's Hospital reports they implemented an emergency plan to protect patients and staff.

Tampa General Hospital says they switched over to a secondary water treatment plan to protect patients with compromised immune systems.

Many restaurant managers spent Friday night stocking up on bottled water, canned soda, and ice.  At the Jerk Hut in downtown Tampa, employee Nery Escobodo said they could not use their soda or ice machines and were only offering bottled beverages to customers.  Thirsty customers found a similar situation at Wright's Gourmet House.

Floridan Hotel employees posted dozens of signs around the hotel Friday on doors, water fountains, and bars warning people not to drink the water.  A manager at the hotel said mixed drinks were not served at the hotel's restaurant or bars.

At least two restaurants at Westshore Plaza shut down Friday night because of the boil water alert, according to a report on

Shoppers bought so much bottled water in Tampa, many grocery stores had empty shelves by Friday night.

Stay with for updates on this breaking story.

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