A boil water advisory throughout Lake Wylie has been rescinded.
The advisory at yorkcountygov.com stated a a private contractor on Sept. 13 damaged a water main in Bethelfields subdivision on S.C. 274. Water samples were collected for testing from various sites to determine contaminants. Residents noticing cloudy or discolored water were advised to boil the water for “at least one full minute prior to drinking” until the advisory was lifted.
“Bacteriological samples are being collected from several locations in order to determine if there is a presence of bacteriological contamination in the water system,” David Hughes, supervisor for York County Water/Sewer Department, states in the message.
Tom Oakley with Utilities Inc., parent company of Carolina Water Service, said his company issued a “virtually identical” advisory since Carolina Water purchases from York County to serve Lake Wylie.
“The key thing is it wasn’t our lines that broke,” Oakley said. “It was York County’s line. It just feeds ours.”
Repairs were made quickly and the system flushed, but cloudy or discolored water was to be expected with a water main break.
“Obviously, when the line breaks there are repairs and things, you get some discoloration,” Oakley said.
The Carolina Water advisory mentioned River Hills, which is the name it uses for the larger system serving the entire Lake Wylie area. The advisory was not confined to the River Hills subdivision.
“It would be anyone who receives water from our system,” Oakley said.
Residents in neighborhoods from River Hills Plantation and Forest Oaks to The Landing and Mill Creek Falls to Bethelfields reported receiving the Utilities Inc. phone message Wednesday.
Chet Bliss responded on Facebook saying “The water main break happened in Bethelfields yesterday (Tuesday) around lunch time. We have tons of dirt in our water.” By Wednesday night, he said there was no more dirt.
Bryan Dillon, Clover School District public information officers, posted a message Wednesday night on Facebook.
“As soon as the district was informed of the advisory we took necessary precautions to close off access to water fountains.
“Additionally, we have been informed that the advisory will be in place through at least part of the day on Thursday, September 14th. As such, Crowders Creek, Oakridge Elementary, and Oakridge Middle School will have water fountains blocked off until the advisory is lifted.
“The food services department will substitute menu items that require water for items that do not on Thursday's menu and will provide clean drinking water at lunch as mandated by law. If possible, we suggest that you send a bottle of water with your student to school tomorrow for any additional water needs throughout the day.”
According to the state health department, there are varying degrees of water quality emergencies. A boil water advisory means the water supply could be contaminated. The health department website lists possible events leading to an advisory as sewage overflows, water line breaks, chemical spills, natural disasters or “some other unusual event.”
A boil water notice “means the water in your area is definitely contaminated.” Precautions are listed at scdhec.gov.
Jim Beasley, spokesman for the department, said the state works with utilities following a possible contamination incident.
“We require them (notices) to be issued by the individual utilities,” he said. “They notify us as well, and there are certain recommendations that go with them.”
If a resident did not receive the message, they are advised to contact customer service at 800-367-4314. For more information, call York County Water/Sewer at 803-818 6512 or SCDHEC at 803-285-7461.
Lake Wylie Pilot reporter John Marks contributed.