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Widespread water outages in Asheville: City issues mandatory water conservation measures, boil water

Eric Norris, "Faucet Drip 1" by sfxeric is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
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Are you or your business affected by the Asheville area water outages? Share your experiences by recording a voice memo or emailing voices@bpr.org.

Residents in the Southern part of Buncombe County, including parts of Asheville, are without water for at least a second day following problems at a water production facility.

In a press release issued at 12:30 pm Tuesday, the City said crews have been working “around the clock” since December 24 to identify and repair water line breaks. As of Noon today, two locations on McDowell Street, two locations on Sweeten Creek Road, as well as Depot Street and London Road were repaired.

The Asheville Regional Airport reported outages and was forced to close all restrooms and restaurants. Officials there brought in portable toilets. Flights are operating as scheduled.

The City has not provided a timeline for restoration of services, or information about water distribution for affected residents but said officials were coordinating with Emergency Management partners.

Late Monday night, the City issued a boil water advisory:

A Boil Water Advisory means there is a potential for contamination due to loss of pressure, but contamination is not confirmed. Periods of low or no pressure in the distribution system increase the potential for back siphonage and introduction of bacteria into the water system. It is recommended for customers to vigorously boil all water used for human consumption for one minute (including drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation) or use bottled water.

The outages, according to the press release, resulted from the extreme weather and higher consumption levels due to residents dripping faucets to avoid burst pipes and more people at home for the holidays.

The City issued mandatory water conservation measures, including:

Minimize or delay processes that use large quantities of water.

  • Take shorter showers.
  • Do not wash your car.
  • Delay doing laundry.
  • Delay running the dishwasher.


For updates on outages, the City recommends residents sign up for the City of Asheville AVL Alert system. Residents can report water leaks to egovutility@ashevillenc.gov or by calling the customer service line at 828-251-1122.

As of Tuesday early afternoon, the City did not have any information on the outages on its homepage. To find the advisories it began to issue on December 25th, residents need to click on “Water quality and advisories” and then scroll down to “Boil Water Advisory” or “Potential Low Pressure or No Water.”

Should residents see brown water coming from faucets after restoration, the City advises the following under its "Boil Water Advisory":

Once pressure is restored, discolored water or air could be present in the lines. If you experience either of these, customers are advised to wait 2-3 hours, then flush only the cold water lines for 10-15 minutes, but no longer. Water customers are strongly urged to conserve water whenever possible. If discolored water or air is still present after flushing, please call customer service at 828-251-1122.

BPR has reached out to the City for more information about the number of residents affected, emergency water distribution sites and a timeline for restoration of services.

The City of Asheville said it will provide another update Tuesday by 6 pm.

Are you affected by the water outages? Share your experiences by recording a voice memo or emailing voices@bpr.org.

Copyright 2022 BPR News

Catherine Komp joined Blue Ridge Public Radio in September 2020 as the organization’s first Director of Content, leading BPR’s talented team of local journalists and content creators, overseeing national programming and facilitating collaborations and engagement initiatives.
Catherine Komp
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