U.S. News

Boil-water ban lifted for Boston area

BOSTON (Reuters) - Boston tap water was safe to drink again on Tuesday, three days after a burst water main left 2 million people without drinking water.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick lifted a boil-water order that had affected the Boston metropolitan area after a 10-foot (3 meter) water pipe failed on Saturday, prompting many restaurants and coffee shops to sharply cut back their menus.

Patrick said the water main had been repaired and the water tested.

“The people of Boston and surrounding communities can once again rely on the safety of their tap water for drinking,” Patrick said. “With a few simple steps, residents and businesses can now go back to normal water use, with full confidence.”

The state drew on emergency water sources including ponds to keep taps flowing while the pipe was repaired, raising concerns that the tap water could harbor parasites including Giardia, which can cause intestinal illness.

While the boil-water order was in effect, many area retailers, including Starbucks Corp and Dunkin Donuts, stopped serving coffee and offering only packaged beverages.

State authorities told people to run their home hot water taps for at least 15 minutes before using the water, to flush out any pond water remaining in their pipes.

Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Doina Chiacu