Local News

Cary Shuts Down Reclaimed Water System

Posted August 1, 2007

— Cary shut down its reclaimed water system Wednesday after discovering two more houses where reclaimed water was coming out of the faucet.

The shutdown affected 519 customers, including 458 homes, and should be completed overnight Wednesday, city officials said.

The shutdown may last up to a week, officials said.

“We’re doing this out of an abundance of caution and in keeping with our commitment to public health,” said Assistant Town Manager Ben Shivar, in a statement.

“Completely shutting down the entire reclaimed system will provide us with the opportunity to complete the water testing we have underway to ensure that no more problem connections exist," Shivar continued.

Reclaimed water is treated wastewater that does not meet the health standards of drinkable water.

Cary residents use the reclaimed water service to irrigate lawns, commercial cooling and dust control, officials said.

Cary began sampling the water at all new homes after finding two homes where the lines for reclaimed and potable water had been switched on July 23.

The two homes found Wednesday also had their lines switched and were in the same neighborhood as the earlier two houses.

“It’s our practice to conduct a detailed evaluation of our responses to emergencies, and it was during our analysis of our response to last week’s events that we decided that further verification would be prudent, which is what led us to discover today’s problems at Kennicott,” said Shivar.

Two of the homes are on Kennicott Avenue, one on Rensford Place and one on Spencer Crest Court, all in the Weston Oaks subdivision.

All of the homes are relatively new, and two were occupied.

Officials relocated a family into a hotel from one of the houses where the water problem was found Wednesday.

Their home water system must be flushed, sanitized and tested, officials said. That process normally takes between 36 and 48 hours, officials said.

The family moved into the Kennicott Avenue home three weeks ago.

Reclaimed and potable water had been switched at one home since December 2006.

City officials said they're working hard to restore the reclaimed water service and apologized to customers.

"We do apologize for any inconvenience to our reclaimed customers during the shutdown, especially this time of year when reclaimed service is so popular. We’ll be working hard to restore service as soon as possible," said Shivar.


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  • bw23 Aug 3, 2007

    Bwahahahahaha!!!! Poor rich white folks!

  • OhYea Aug 2, 2007

    Yo me disculpo

  • Waterrox Aug 2, 2007

    Reclaimed water must either be in a purple pipe with lettering saying or white/black lettering on purple identification tape shall be put on standard pipe. Both should say "caution: reclaimed water - do not drink"

  • richard2 Aug 2, 2007

    All re-claimed water should come out of a brown pipe.

  • Go Figure Aug 2, 2007


  • Jeremiah Aug 2, 2007

    Z man, i'm pretty sure that's already done. (using a different color pipe for the reclaimed vs. potable)

  • superman Aug 2, 2007

    Does anyone know just how close Cary is to Durham. Sounds like they share the same people.

  • Scarecrow Cow Aug 2, 2007

    Of all the issues these families thought they might face when moving into a new home, I'm sure drinking dirty water was not one of them!! I hope this issue is resolved quickly and without huge, multi-million dollar lawsuits. Cary residents tend to be rich but the city itself needs that money to correct problems like this. And Harrison Bergeron, that was hilarious! Heh heh....

  • Z Man Aug 2, 2007

    Too late, but here's an idea... let's purchase PVC for reclaimed water in a color other than white. May cost a few bucks more but at least no-one will tap into it for a homes primary water supply. Duh.

  • whatelseisnew Aug 2, 2007

    Just wait til they find out the lines were not actually switched to begin with and when they switch them the water only gets marginally worse.