ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Two of Florida’s largest cities have ended water emergencies now that COVID-19 hospitalizations have declined in the state.
Back in August, the city-owned Orlando Utilities Commission asked residents to stop watering their lawns or washing their cars because liquid oxygen that is used for treating the city’s water was being diverted to hospitals for patients suffering from the virus.
Around the same time, the Tampa Water Department started using chlorine instead of liquid oxygen to disinfect its water.
Utility officials in Orlando said Tuesday that residents can resume their normal water use.
In Tampa, water department officials also said they were going back to using oxygen.
“Helping to ensure public health by providing safe drinking water is our top priority,” said Water Department Director Chuck Weber. “We were fortunate that we were able to quickly switch over to using chlorine as our primary way to disinfect the water. Not every water treatment plant affected by the shortage of liquid oxygen had that flexibility. The resumption of regular liquid oxygen deliveries, lets us return our normal operations.”