Thousands Remain Under Boil Water Advisory

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SCRANTON -- Parts of Lackawanna County will remain on a boil water advisory at least until Wednesday following that massive water main break over the weekend.

Water service has been restored since the break on Saturday, but that boil water advisory is still in place for Scranton, Dunmore, the mid valley and down valley of Lackawanna County, and the Abingtons.

That presented a challenge for school districts like Scranton having to provide clean water to thousands of students.

The Aramark staff that serves meals to students in the Scranton School District know the old mantra: you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.

The district could not use its water without boiling it first so, the staff came up with a contingency to keep close to 13,000 students fed and hydrated.

"I tell you, we literally started this at 5:00 this morning, the preparation for having bottled water in those schools that don't have the infiltration system," said Precious Gilliard of Aramark.

Some schools were supplied with water coolers; others had pallets of bottled water delivered. All of the district's silverware, pots and pans were sent to South Scranton Intermediate where they could be cleaned at 190 degrees.

Manager Precious Gilliard says her staff had to make last-minute calls to Walmart to get all of the fresh water they could.

"The Department of Agriculture would allow us to boil our water and then serve. That's why were on a boil advisory, right? But we wanted to take it a step further and make sure we surpass the boil advisory and make sure the kids have fresh bottled water to consume if they need to," Gilliard explained.

The boil water advisory is in place for tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

"The water looks pretty clear here for the most part, but over by my house, it's still kind of a little brown," said Corey Coviello of Coviello's Diner.

The Coviello family was hit twice losing water Saturday at their diner in Dunmore and at home. They made the necessary adjustments but at least they're back open.

"It's pretty busy Saturday mornings. We had to tell a lot of customers not to come in and lock the doors up. Kind of rough," Coviello said.

Pennsylvania American Water officials say the boil water advisory must stay in place until they get two clean test results that need to be done 24 hours apart. The earliest that will be done is Wednesday.