(March 31, 2006 - 11:30p.m.)--Charleston Water System customers in Downtown, West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island, North Charleston, Hollywood and Ravenel are urged to boil their tap water for one minute prior to using it for drinking or cooking.
A 48-inch water main in Turkey Creek near Murray Drive in Hanahan ruptured at approximately 8:30 pm Friday, March 31, 2006. Charleston Water System restored water service throughout the service area within three hours and is awaiting test results that should be complete early Sunday morning. People in Mt Pleasant, Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, Isle of Palms and Lincolnville are not affected.
Charleston Water System encourages customers to use boiled or bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, preparing food, and giving to pets until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms that may be present in the water. Many water filters do not protect against bacteria, so customers with filters are advised to contact the manufacturer for more information or boil their tap water. The water is safe for bathing and doing laundry.
Customers are urged to share this information with those who may not have received this message directly, such as those in apartments, office buildings, and schools. Building managers are urged to post this notice near water fountains and in restrooms; the notice can be downloaded from Charleston Water System’s web site at www.charlestonwater.com.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) requires water utilities to issue an advisory when an event occurs that allows the possibility for bacteria to enter the water system. Such an event may include a loss of water pressure or a water main break in which dirt enters the main. Low water pressure may allow bacteria in soil and groundwater to enter water pipes through cracks or leaks, and theoretically, a drop in pressure may also cause backflow, which is best defined by the example of a garden hose in a bucket of dirty water “sucking” that water back into the public water system when the water pressure drops. In reality, Charleston Water System prevents backflow by installing backflow prevention devices on every water service. Charleston Water System ’s backflow prevention program far exceeds regulatory requirements, and as a result, Charleston Water’s system has a high level of protection against backflow.
This boil water advisory is a precautionary measure to protect public health until test results confirm the water is safe to drink. Because the water quality is unknown, customers are urged to assume the water is unsafe to drink and take the appropriate precautions.
For more information, customer are urged to visit www.charlestonwater.com or call Customer Service at (843) 727-6800, where customers may listen to automated instructions or speak with a customer service representative.
Note to media: Charleston Water System is planning to hold a follow-up press conference at 4:00pm Saturday, April 1, 2006 at 103 St. Philip Street.
Read public notice
Read frequently asked questions about boil water advisories