Risa Levinson receives a case of water from Nelson Palomo, a maintenance worker for the city, after the Feb. 23 main break. At left is city crew leader Zach Torres. The city and FPL gave away water for parts of two days at Anchor Park amid a boil-water notice for the barrier island.
Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star
By Rich Pollack
Many residents of coastal Delray Beach who have dealt with city water woes over the last few years were told once again to boil water as a result of a construction crew rupturing a main last month.
This time residents received bottled drinking water courtesy of the city and the contractor whose team was responsible for the break.
According to the city and FPL, crews installing underground power lines at the intersection of Seagate Drive and Bauhinia Road on the barrier island accidentally broke the water line at about 6 p.m. Feb. 23, a Tuesday.
The water main was repaired and the line flushed, but because the pipe was exposed a precautionary boil-water notice was issued.
While the notice was initially for just a portion of the barrier island south of Atlantic Avenue, it was later expanded to the northern portion of the coastal area out of “an abundance of caution.”
Because the city is required by the Florida Department of Health to test water for two days to be sure there is no contamination, the boil-water notice was not lifted until the following Friday morning.
After the water main break, representatives from the contractor and the city reached out to residents and offered to provide bottled water for about a day and a half at Anchor Park.
“The contractor assisted the city by distributing door hangers to the affected homes and delivering bottled water to the affected customers due to the inconvenience,” an FPL spokesman said in an email.
Most residents were able to pull up in their vehicles and receive a case of bottled water from a city employee. Some residents, who live nearby, walked up to receive water.
“Our contractor, as well as FPL, is committed to doing the right thing for our customers,” the spokesman said.
Many Delray residents living on the barrier island were told to boil their water in December 2018, after cross-contamination was discovered with drinking water and reclaimed water mixing.
The city could face a fine from the Florida Department of Health of up to nearly $3 million as a result of issues stemming from its reclaimed water distribution system.