Update: Chapel Hill Water Is Safe To Drink

Feb 3, 2017

OWASA says using water at this time could result in contamination.
Credit malla_mi / Flickr

Updated at 2:45 p.m. Sat, Feb 4, 2017

The Orange Water and Sewer Authority says its tap water is safe to drink. Officials say samples from across the service area tested safe Saturday afternoon. Though they're asking customers to use water sparingly as supplies remain low. The Orange County Health Department has lifted its Do Not Use order and hotels and restaurants are free to reopen. More information here.

Updated at 6:57 p.m. Fri, Feb. 3, 2017

Customers of the Orange Water and Sewer Authority are being told not to drink or use tap water for at least another 24 hours. That's according to emergency management and water officials.

Emergency water bottle donations are being accepted at the Chapel Hill Community Center.

UNC Hospitals has arranged for a water tanker.

The men's basketball game between UNC-Chapel Hill and Notre Dame - originally scheduled for Saturday evening - has been moved to 1 PM Sunday, in Greensboro.

Updated at 2:37 p.m. Fri., Feb. 3, 2017

The Orange Water and Sewer Authority is directing customers to stop using water immediately due to a water main break in Chapel Hill.

That, and an already low water supply, has caused levels to drop. OWASA says using water at this time could result in contamination.

Restaurants served by OWASA have been ordered closed. All Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools closed early due to the water emergency. Officials dismissed elementary students at 1:30 p.m., middle school students at 2:10 p.m. and high school students at 2:55 p.m. UNC-Chapel Hill officials have also announced classes canceled and the campus closed at 1 p.m.

OWASA is telling customers to use bottled water to flush a toilet, after pouring water into the tank. If a toilet does not have a tank, it may be possible to pour water into the bowl to flush.

OWASA is working to restore the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant to normal operation as soon as it is safe to do so and field personnel are working to repair the water main break as soon as possible.

OWASA serves Chapel Hill and Carrboro
Credit OWASA

The Jones Ferry Road plant's water tanks were already at low levels because of an accidental overfeed of fluoride in the water treatment process.

To make up for the drop in supplies, OWASA began receiving water from the City of Durham but the connections did not provide an adequate enough flow to fill OWASA's tanks.