Emergency in Chapel Hill: Don’t drink the water

In an emergency announcement posted at 11: 20 this morning, OWASA has ordered its customers not to use their water until further notice because of potential contamination. Using water could result in contamination of the OWASA system, the utility said today.

A water main break on the northeast side of Chapel Hill near Dobbins Drive has reduced OWASA’s supply — already depleted from an earlier incident — to very low levels. Yesterday an accidental overload of fluoride at the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant forced OWASA to get water from Durham; the two utilities have an agreement to provide water to the other in emergency situations.

OWASA customers are asked to use bottled water for all uses. Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools also closed early because of the water emergency. The current demand for water is about 6.5 million gallons per day.

OWASA’s water supply originates in Cane Creek and University Lake watersheds, west of Carrboro. It serves Chapel Hill and Carrboro in southern Orange County.


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