Body Was in City's Reservoir About a Month

Discovery prompted a boil-water advisory in Rochester, New York
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 20, 2024 1:45 AM CDT
Updated Mar 21, 2024 12:36 PM CDT
Residents Must Boil Water After Body Found in Reservoir
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / profstocktv)
UPDATE Mar 21, 2024 12:36 PM CDT

It turns out the body found in a reservoir that prompted a boil-water advisory in upstate New York had been there nearly a month, reports the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester. Authorities identified the body as that of a 29-year-old man who climbed a fence surrounding the reservoir in the early hours of Feb. 24 and eventually fell into the water. No foul play is suspected. The reservoir supplies water to parts of the city, and authorities say it is regularly tested for safety.

Mar 20, 2024 1:45 AM CDT

A human body was found Tuesday in a western New York reservoir that supplies drinking water to parts of Rochester, prompting city officials to advise residents to boil their water before consuming, the AP reports. Workers with the city's Water Bureau discovered the body in the Highland Park Reservoir at around 8am while doing routine rounds, officials said. The reservoir was immediately disconnected from the public water supply, with plans to drain and clean it. The city advised residents to bring tap water to a rolling boil, boil for one minute, and cool before using. It said boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, and preparing food until further notice.

Police divers removed the body of an adult male from the water, authorities said. The circumstances of the death were not immediately clear. Police were investigating, and the medical examiner's office was working to identify the man. Testing indicated the water was safe, the city said in a notice to residents. The boil water advisory was issued to several neighborhoods as a precaution, officials said, and the reservoir will not be returned to service until after it is drained and cleaned. "This is a very, very sad situation," Mayor Malik Evans said at a news conference. "But ... being that this happened near our water supply it's important that we exercise this abundance of caution." (The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle wonders why the reservoir is not covered.)

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