Creedmoor, N.C. — Creedmoor restaurant and preschool workers scrambled to change their operations Thursday as a pipe break put residents under an advisory to boil water for at least the next day.
City Manager Tom Mercer said a water-main break at the city's pumping station around 5:30 a.m. knocked out service to the whole city. A clamp holding two 70-year-old pipes together fell apart, possibly due to age, he said.
City crews completed repairs about four hours later, allowing water pressure to build back up in the system.
Residents should boil water before using it for human consumption as a precaution, since it's possible that bacteria got into the system while water wasn't running, Mercer said.
"In any situation, you don't know if you've maintained enough pressure in the system throughout. You may get back pressure which will allow bacteria to get in from other sources," he said.
Boiling water had Van Ellis changing up the menu and serving bottled water at his restaurant, Vantastic All Day Cafe.
"It runs your staff, gets them behind in their daily chores," Ellis said. "It's not a good way to start the day."
Parents picked up their children from First Baptist Church Academy after the preschool closed early because of the water situation, a representative said.
Creedmoor residents should boil water for a minute before using it for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth and making ice. Alternatively, they can use bottled water.
The boil-water order will be lifted once tests show that there's no bacteria in the water. Mercer said test results are expected by early Friday afternoon.
Water line breaks prompted Creedmoor authorities to issue a boil-water advisory twice before this year.
A $9.4-million project is underway to improve Creedmoor's water system. It will replace the aging pumping station and pipes, with the goal of doubling the city's water capacity. The work is due to be complete next summer.