CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - A Boil Water Advisory impacting than 6,000 homes and businesses in Chester County was lifted Monday morning.
The advisory was put in place after after a massive water main break in Fort Lawn last week.
The Chester Metropolitan District (CMD), the public water supply authority in the county, finished up repairs and says all samples indicated no presence of bacteria in the drinking water.
CMD serves 6,500 customers over 560 square miles.
“Putting the repair clamp just took about an hour to put on, but then we realized it wasn’t 100% sealed,” said Fred Castles, Executive Director of CMD. “We’re trying to get another part to replace the one that we put on that’s not fitting securely.”
“We’re still able to pump with it on there, and we’re able to maintain pressure, but we’re going to have to put a new clamp on there,” said Castles. “If we can’t find one at a local utility or within North or South Carolina, we’re going to have to have one made which could take 2 to 3 days.”
A small portion of Fort Lawn residents along South Carolina Highway 9, between US-21 and the Catawba River, were made aware of possible loss of water service for a few hours during the repair. Additional line flushing and sampling took place Thursday.
Castles says the county lost 2 million gallons of water as a result of the break on the 30-inch transmission line in Fort Lawn. Some nearby water customers briefly lost water. But now all 6,500 CMD customers are under a boil water advisory and will continue to be until the repair clamp can be replaced.
“We just want our customers to know that that we’re doing everything we can to remediate the problem and at least keep water pressure so that you can use it for bathing, and bathroom handwashing,” said Castles. “You just can’t use it to cook or to drink unless you boil it first, so we just want to get the message out there to keep everybody safe until we know through sampling that it is.”
The problem prompted the Chester County School District to close schools Tuesday, but the district was open again Wednesday, operating on a normal schedule. All district-wide drinking fountains were closed and covered, and food services followed boil water protocols for any water used in food preparation. Students were encouraged to bring a sealed bottle of water to school for drinking and a bottle of sanitizer if they have one. Schools had bottles of water available if needed as well as sanitizer. All restrooms were operational.
Castles added it was best not to use a dishwasher during the advisory unless you know the water reaches boiling temperatures.