Overflowing Tank Blamed For Hopewell Water Issue

UPDATE: Hopewell water distribution will stop at 3 p.m. today due to the impending wintry weather.

HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) –An overflowing tank has been identified as the source of the spill which led to a water shutdown in Hopewell this week.

Virginia American Water issued the following statement Thursday:
“Virginia American Water launched a thorough investigation into the diesel spill that occurred late Monday, March 2, 2015. We are dedicating significant resources toward understanding how this incident occurred, and we are defining what steps are necessary to ensure that this incident does not occur again.
“We can confirm at this point that a diesel day tank overflowed at the site of our low river pump station near the intake. An American Water team has been on site since Tuesday, examining equipment and interviewing staff to determine the root causes of the overflow, and they are working closely with all regulatory agencies.”

Hopewell City officials say that so far water tests have come back clean after a 600-gallon diesel fuel spill in the Appomattox River on Tuesday.

Still, the city and parts of Prince George remain under a boil water advisory this morning. Officials are concerned the water could become contaminated because of low water pressure.

The Department of Environmental Quality is investigating the fuel leak and says so far, there has not been any environmental impact.

Meanwhile, there is concern this morning over who exactly has been taking advantage of free water distribution.

Hopewell has been handing out cases of bottled water to affected residents, but some are concerned people outside of the impacted area are showing up to take the water. City officials say there is almost nothing they can do though.

Many people in the city attend school or work at Fort Lee and officials say checking ID’s might lead to turning people away who honestly need the water.

“We’ve had people wanting to show us their license for their address and what not but right now we are trying to work off the honesty policy so we are just handing water out to everybody,” Tony Bolyard of Virginia American Water said.

Water will be handed out again today. Distribution starts at 9 this morning at Hopewell High School and will run until 3 p.m. They’ll close down for a little bit and then will begin handing out water again from 5 to 9 p.m. There is a one case per household limit.

Customers will be notified when the boil water notice is lifted. In the meantime, all customers are asked to continue to conserve their water as much as possible, to make whatever supply they have last as long as possible.

Click here for updates from Virginia American Water under the Alert Notifications section.

For the most up-to-date information, customers can call Virginia American Water’s customer service center at 1-800-452-6863.

Stay with 8News for the latest updates in this developing story.

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