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Towns ease water restrictions following water line break

Posted June 16, 2008

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— Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina eased water restrictions on Monday, a day after a water-line break cut off the towns' main water supply.

All indoor water uses are allowed, but both towns have banned all non-essential outdoor uses of water, including watering and car washing.

"You are free to cook, take a shower. We know people want to do that," said Mark Andrews, a spokesman for Holly Springs.

Utility operators said a water line from a Harnett County water-treatment plant to Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina ruptured early Sunday.

Holly Springs has restored connections to Raleigh and Apex's water system.

Although Raleigh can provide 1.2 million gallons a day, that's only about a third of what customers normally use, so the town must cut usage between 25 and 50 percent, Andrews said.

Fuquay-Varina has declared a state of emergency and begun drawing water from backup sources in Raleigh and Johnston County.

"It looks like that we're going to be OK," said Fuquay-Varina Mayor John Byrne. "But you don't really know in a situation like this."

Signs about the water crisis have been placed around the towns, and workers have patrolled the streets, looking for unauthorized water use. In Holly Springs, violators face a $1,000 fine.

Fuquay-Varina resident Dianna Arnold ruefully said she learned about the restrictions the hard way.

"There is another man actually manually turning off my irrigation system," Arnold said.

Rodney Tart, Harnett County's director of public utilities, said an overnight lightning storm created a power surge that shut an emergency valve at a base plant, creating a bulge of pressure and rupturing the 36-inch pipe. The break flooded the room, shorting out all electrical controls, Tart said.

Crews were working Monday afternoon to set up a bypass line that would provide enough water to meet regular demand in Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina.

"It'll pump what they need," Tart said. "It'll be enough to meet their peak demand."

He expected a permanent fix to be finished later in the week.

The towns have been adding extra chlorine to their water lines to ensure water quality.


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  • NC is my home Jun 17, 2008

    Those explanations are good excuses; however, Shearon Harris is detrimental to our health. HNP can’t control the toxins that go into the rivers! And those who live on well water have even more danger. Perhaps "oceanchild 71" & “area driver”, you ’ve not been to many funerals lately!

  • areadriver Jun 16, 2008

    Actually, Harris Lake empties into the Cape Fear River, along with Jordan Lake. So, we do drink some of that water. There probably is hexavalent chromium in the internal water that is used to make steam at Harris. Its a corrosion inhibitor. It keps the piping from rusting. But it's not flushed into the lake. That water is in a closed loop circuit.

  • oceanchild71 Jun 16, 2008

    NC is my home: It sounds like you have watched "Erin Brockovich" a time too many. Hexavalent Chromium is used in industrial settings. What manufacturing is taking place out at SHNPP? Please look up how the cooling lakes are used. That water never comes in contact with the reactor.

  • NC is my home Jun 16, 2008

    The reason Holly Springs doesn't get it's water from Harris Lake--Hexavalent Chromiun. Do you know how many cases of cancer, skin disease, etc. have arisen from that area since they went on line?

  • Leonardo Jun 16, 2008

    NC is my home: Holly Springs gets its water from the Cape Fear river simply because there is much more available capacity than it could get from Harris Lake.

  • bs101fly Jun 16, 2008

    what restrictions? we're in FV and don't know SQUAT about it becasue the town hasn't put signs out like they did in HS nor have they said a word. NOR did the media include FV in it.
    Maybe they're drinking the green water from Harris Lake at the city hall and are dizzy??

  • Get_Serious Jun 16, 2008

    Can't wait to get home and flush.

  • HopingForABetterWorld Jun 16, 2008

    NC...Harris Lake is a private lake for the sole purpose of providing water to the power plant. There is no way that water will EVER be used for normal use and putting the area at risk of it drying up. Are you trying to start rumors about nuclear power without knowledge of how it works?

  • NC is my home Jun 16, 2008

    Isn't it odd that Holly Springs pipes in water from Harnett County with the Harris Lake just a couple of miles away? What's wrong with the water in Southern Wake County that they don't want to risk using it? Hum....