Service is back in York County. What you should know before you start using the water

York County residents are seeing their water service return now that a broken water main in Rock Hill has been fixed. However, officials warn residents should remain cautious while the water is tested for contaminates.

Here are some things to know:

Water boil advisory: The area will remain under a water boil advisory through at least Friday, possibly longer. Results from water sample tests require 24 hours’ notice from DHEC before the advisory can be lifted, Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys said during a press conference Thursday.

“We will not lift that advisory until the experts, the Department of Health and Environmental Control, say that everyone is safe,” Gettys said.

The Centers for Disease Control provides guidelines on its website for residents during a water boil advisory.

Residents should bring water to a rolling boil and keep it there for at least 1 full minute. Then, let it cool before using.

Water in faucets does not mean it is safe to use: “The availability of water at your faucet may give a false sense of security,” Gettys said Thursday.

Residents can take showers, but should use boiled or bottled water to wash their hands, brush their teeth and for any uses related to cooking or preparing food, Gettys said. Residents should not consume water unless it is bottled or has been boiled.

Pets should also be supplied boiled or bottled water, according to the CDC.

The CDC recommends people use disposable plates, cups and utensils during a boil advisory. People should also be careful to avoid swallowing water while showering or bathing.

Infants and babies should receive sponge baths to limit the chance of them swallowing contaminated water, according to the CDC.

Do not use devices connected to water lines: This includes ice and water from refrigerators, according to the CDC. This also includes dishwashers, tea brewers and coffee makers.

Check filters on appliances that use water: If residents see sediment in their water or are having usage problems, they should check filters or strainers on washing machines, ice makers and faucets, Jimmy Bagley, deputy city manager for Rock Hill, said during a Thursday press conference.

Bagley said they recommend residents hold off on washing clothes to limit sediment getting into their homes. “The less you use, the less likely that’s getting caught in one of those strainers,” he said.

Residents can also flush their own homes using their outside spigots, Bagley said.

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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