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Petersburg boil order remains Sunday; crews making ‘substantial’ repairs

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PETERSBURG, Va. -- Officials said repairs to a ruptured water main break on Sycamore Street in Petersburg will likely drag into Monday.

"The repairs needed are more substantial than initially discovered," officials said.

Officials said the Friday break caused a loss of pressure for a part of the city, so a boil order was issued.

As a result, residents along the intersection of Bank and Adams streets north to the Appomattox River as well as to west to Canal Street, Fleet Street and University Boulevard were urged to boiled tap water or use bottled water for drinking and cooking as a safety precaution.

Officials emphasized that all tap water must be boiled because it kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. It should be brought to a rolling boil for a minute and then cooled.

An alternative method of purification for residents that do not have gas or electricity available is to use liquid household bleach to disinfect water. The bleach product should be recently purchased, free of additives and scents, and should contain a sodium hypochlorite solution of at least 5.25 %, according to health department officials.

Public health officials recommend adding 16 drops of bleach (about 1/8 teaspoon) to one gallon of water. The water should be stirred and allowed to stand for at least 30 minutes before use.

Water purification tablets may also be used by following the manufacturer's instructions.

Petersburg Utilities Department will inform residents when they no longer need to boil water.

To address this problem, officials said they are flushing the system and sampling for chlorine and completing required bacteriological testing.

Officials originally said the break would be repaired within 24 to 48 hours.