Schools adjust to challenge created by water main break in Charlotte

For residents who live in the impacted areas, any water used to drink, wash dishes or brush teeth has to first be boiled vigorously for one minute.
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 6:35 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2021 at 6:42 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A boil water advisory is still in effect for people living in more than a dozen zip codes across Mecklenburg County following Monday’s historic water main break.

For residents who live in the impacted areas, any water used to drink, wash dishes or brush teeth has to first be boiled vigorously for one minute.

The situation has been a hassle for people at home, but also for schools trying to keep students safe.

At schools like West Mecklenburg High, Northwest School of the Arts, Community House, and more, alternative lunches and bottled water are being delivered while the boil water advisory is in place.

Related: ‘Alternative’ lunch, bottled water to be taken to several CMS schools affected by water main break

Myers Park High School is very near the spot where the water main break happened. WBTV was there as the football team was practicing Tuesday and was told parents banded together to ensure the team stayed hydrated. They brought in cases of water.

According to head football coach Curtis Fuller, this was just another thing this year students didn’t see coming and he’ll be happy when the advisory is lifted.

“We sent a message out and the parents came to the rescue, so it was awesome,” Fuller said. ”I am hoping it’ll be normal, because it’ll create normalcy for our kids and that’s always a positive thing for those guys to be normal.”

Around 4 p.m. Monday, Charlotte Water crews responded to a large water main break on Remount Road. Crews discovered a 36-inch concrete pipe located under Irwin Creek broken and spraying water several feet in the air.

The 36-inch pipe, which has been there since 1955, serves as a large transmission main that carries water several miles from the water treatment plant to neighborhoods in south Charlotte.

The break caused low or no water pressure in a large water pressure zone. Pressure zones are used by Charlotte Water to maintain water pressure across the entire service area.

Related: ‘This one was historical’: Water service restored, Boil Water Advisory issued after major water main break in Charlotte

Charlotte Water has not said yet what caused the break. The boil water advisory is in place out of an abundance of caution.

When a pipe breaks and the system is depressurized, there’s a slight chance a contaminant could be drawn into the pipes of a home or building.

The advisory can either be lifted 48 hours after the break - that would be early Wednesday evening – or when water quality test results taken from hundreds of spots in the system come back clean.

Until then, impacted residents boil any water used for drinking, brushing teeth or washing dishes for at least one minute before consuming it.

Residents can sign up for alerts about emergencies and other important community news.

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