A toxin created by blue-green algae blooms was detected in water samples collected at the treatment plant in West Palm Beach which provides drinking water to both the city and the towns of Palm Beach and South Palm Beach.
Speaking to our news partners at WPTV NewsChannel 5 a city official said “If you pay your water bill to the city of West Palm Beach you are affected.”
The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County issued the advisory late Friday after elevated amounts of the toxin cylindrospermopsin was detected in samples of treated water at the plant and at a local water source.
Dr. Alina Alonso from the county health department said in a statement that while most people may continue to consume West Palm drinking water the following vulnerable persons should use bottled water until further notice:
- Young children under the age of six
- Pregnant women and nursing mothers
- Those with pre-existing liver conditions
- Those receiving dialysis treatment
- The elderly and other sensitive populations
Tap water may still be used for bathing, hand washing, dish washing and doing laundry.
City officials advise that boiling potentially contaminated water will not purify it and may in fact increase toxicity.
The advisory and precautions issued to vulnerable persons is expected to remain in effect until the Wednesday at the earliest.
The city of West Palm Beach will be distributing bottled water to affected residents at Gaines Park, 1501 Australian Ave. from May 29-31, from 10 am to 1 pm
More information can be found at the city of West Palm Beach website or by calling the city’s hotline at 561-822-2222, TTY 800-955-8771.
If you pay your water bill to the City of West Palm Beach you are affected by a toxin in the water. (Areas in green and orange below).
— T.A. Walker (@timallanwalker) May 29, 2021