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After More Than 24 Hours, Fort Worth Rescinds Boil Water Notice

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - For the second day in a row, thousands of North Texans woke up unable to drink the tap water in their homes. But, that didn't last for long. Shortly after 7 a.m. officials with the City rescinded the boil water notice issued on February 4.

Despite the boil order being lifted some resident continued to stop by designated locations to pick up what was left of bottled water supplies. A number of people said they won't be quick to drink from the faucet just yet.

Fort Worth resident Brent Lynchsaid, "I  haven't heard the details as what the potential problem were with the water, so I'll wait for what those results are so I can understand what they are and react from that."

Mom Stacey Janzen said she and her family would take their time before switching back to tap. "It will probably be a couple days before we drink the water, to make sure it's completely cleared out of the system."

Officials with the Fort Worth Water Department sent out the boil water notice early Thursday morning after an operational error led to the draining of an elevated water tank and caused a drastic drop in pressure in parts of the water system. The loss of pressure meant harmful bacteria and other microbes could get into the water.

The concern was that the drop in water pressure may have allowed contamination to happen. But Friday morning officials said of the 46 samples, collected and sent to a lab for testing, all were negative for coliform bacteria.

The City said they immediately took the "necessary corrective actions" to restore adequate pressure and rescinded the boil order.

Workers are also in the process of turning on water fountains at six Northwest Independent School District campuses that were negatively impacted by the boil order.

City crews began running tests for contamination at daybreak on Thursday, but they knew it would take between 18 and 24 hours to get the results. Since about 2 .m. Thursday, people in the affected area had to rely on bottled water or boiling what came out of the faucet.

Some neighbors said they were concerned about efforts by the City to help, after the first round of water distributed from a tanker truck Thursday morning was a yellowish-brown color. By Thursday afternoon the City was warning people not to drink that water either.

City of Fort Worth Water Director John Carman looked into the problem and said, "There was visible brownness to the water out of one of those trucks. So, I pulled the truck. We're not giving backup water that's brown. That's not acceptable."

One resident was even concerned that while the boil order was still in effect the tap water wasn't safe for washing. Staci Fordinal said the white-colored clothes she took out of her washing machine were discolored. She asked, "If it's ruining my clothes, if it's not safe to drink, why are we showering in it? It kind of makes us feel [sic] what's really going on?"

There are residents in the previously affected area that said their concerns about the water started some time ago, when the City spent weeks flushing fire hydrants in the area.

Officials say part of the problem is that the affected area is served by a water system built for growth. They explained that when water use is low disinfectant levels drop, so the hydrant flushing keeps treated water moving in.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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