A 36-inch water main broke Thursday night by Tennessee American Water’s plant located near UTC campus. Over 35,000 residents in downtown and North Chattanooga are experiencing low to no water pressure. The impact has also stretched to Signal Mountain, Lookout Valley, Red Bank, Rossville and Georgia as well.
Tennessee American Water has issued a code red notification Friday morning and a boil water advisory Friday afternoon.
“We sent a code red emergency notification to customers this morning to alert the affect area,” spokesperson Daphne Kirksey said.
Tennessee American Water announced restorations will take a whole day. The spokesperson Daphne Kirksey said this afternoon that restoration is expected in lower elevations area by Friday night, but customers in higher elevations area may not get water back until Saturday morning.
Due to the water outage, UTC, restaurants and government offices near downtown are shut down. Hamilton County schools also shut down for the day. The Hamilton County Health Department is asking restaurants in the affected area to shut down if they have no running water pressure available. The Health Department posted that hygienic practices may be comprised without sufficient water pressure on its Twitter account.
The city of Chattanooga has updated a voluntarily boil advisory for all tap water in Chattanooga, as water main breaks resulting in a loss of system pressure can introduce disease-causing organisms into the water system. The city of Chattanooga advises residents to bring all water to a boil, let it boil for three minutes and let it cool before using or instead use bottled water.
The Chattanooga Fire Department is pumping water out of the Tennessee river with a pump supplied by Tennessee Valley Associates.
According to the Knoxville Fire Department, a group of Knox county firefighters volunteered to help keep water flowing to a hospital in Chattanooga which was running out of water. Rural Metro Fire, Knoxville Fire and Karns Fire are sending about 9,000 gallons of water to the affected area.
“The Knoxville, Rural Metro and Karns fire department will deploy as part as of a strike team to assist Hamilton county,” KFD said in a Twitter post.
According to the area’s hospital reports, all of the hospitals have report to Hamilton County Emergency Service that they have secured adequate water pressure.
Tennessee American Water says crews are working on the repairs but there is no estimation on when the service could be restored. No information about the restoration timeline is currently available.