Local News

Boil water notice lifted in Smithfield after E. coli scare

Posted July 1, 2010

— The Johnston County Health Department rescinded its mandatory boil water notice for Smithfield late Thursday.

The department issued the advisory on Wednesday for all residents to boil water after the presence of fecal coliform bacteria (E. coli) was detected in water samples.

It was lifted at 10 p.m. on Thursday after a second round of tests showed no signs of E.coli.

Restaurants and some other businesses in the area have been closed for days because of the order.

E. coli scare forces Smithfield restaurants closed E. coli scare forces Smithfield restaurants closed

Restaurant managers said the mandate came at a bad time, just before the holiday weekend when they typically see a boom in business.

"It's the Fourth of July weekend and there's a lot of travelers on the road," said Phillip Crawford, who manages Smithfield's Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q restaurant on North Brightleaf Blvd.

"This is one of the main stops on the travel route for a lot of people because it's right on Interstate 95," Crawford said. "So, we do get a lot of business. It really impacts this store big."

Judy Kaspar and her daughter couldn't believe how empty the parking lot was when they pulled up to their hotel in Smithfield on Thursday and got an explanation from the manager.

“They said that one out of five people are keeping their reservations and four out of five are canceling,” Kaspar said.


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  • meBNme Jul 2, 2010

    "One Word: distilled water in a jug!
    Arthur in the Garden"

    see..... he went to public schools too.

  • rikerga Jul 2, 2010

    I don't live in Smithfield, but am forced to have a Smithfield number by the phone divisioning. I have well water. At 11:40PM last night I had the Town of Smithfield call me to say it was now safe to drink my water. Hmmmm, I thought there was a law against calls after 9pm. I can see in case of a chemical spill or Emergency to call me at that hour.
    I CANNOT see being called at 11:40pm, and told that it was safe to drink my WELL water. Did anyone else get a totally rediculously timed call from Smithfield?

  • WHEEL Jul 2, 2010

    I believe if I ran a restaurant in Smithfield I would drill a well and put in chlorination equipment. This is not the first time this has happened.

  • johnstonredneck Jul 1, 2010

    Since the problem stemmed from the Smithfield water treatment facility where all the water is supposedly for human consumption, I feel that the town of Smithfield should have to reimburse all the businesses that were forced to close.

  • mysisterforlife042808 Jul 1, 2010

    It seem the water in Chatam County smells like sewage. Our water give me the same reaction as Smithfields. I would like to know if the could be tested.

  • boggy1 Jul 1, 2010

    FYI BlahBlahBlah - Smithfield Hams (the brand Paula is the spokesperson for) are from Virginia, not Smithfield NC.

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Jul 1, 2010

    Avoid the ice...

  • cc4042 Jul 1, 2010

    The town forced restaurants to close. It wasn't voluntary. But I agree with pallen - if places remained open and someone got sick, those restaurants would be ripped to shreds in the media. Does anyone think a restaurant owner wants to close during a holiday weekend? And does anyone honestly believe that no one thought of boiling water or using bottled water? It just isn't effective for everything that needs to be done in a restaurant.

  • jb2230 Jul 1, 2010

    funny how only smithfield is affected.....no other town in JoCo...just sayin.....glad i have county water at home

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Jul 1, 2010

    Paula Deen needs Smithfield!!
    Your town sure does know how to grow HAM!!
    Thanks Smithfield!!