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Smithfield water customers remain under advisory through Sunday

Posted July 9, 2010

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— Consumers of the Smithfield water system will remain under a voluntary boil water advisory through Sunday, Mayor Daniel Evans said.

"This is an advisory notice not a mandatory notice, we don’t have to rush shut down any restaurants or anything of that nature,” Evans said after one water sample tested positive for coliform bacteria and another for fecal bacteria on Thursday.

The samples were taken from opposite ends of the town, Smithfield Director of Public Utilities Earl Botkin said.

The finding, which can be an indicator that other, potentially harmful bacteria might be present, prompted  Botkin to advise customers to boil their water for the second time in a week.

Residents should boil all water used for human consumption, such as drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, making ice and washing hands. Boiling water for at least one minute should kill the bacteria..

Evans said the decision to continue the voluntary advisory was based on the frequency of water issues in the town.

During the advisory, officials will be consulting with state and county environmental official private engineering and sampling companies. Samples will also be taken at new locations in the system.

Last week, the town was under a mandatory order to boil water after water there tested positive for bacteria twice.

Neither Botkin nor Evans believe the tests are a sign of a larger problem. "We feel very, very confident that our water system is okay," Botkin said.

"We feel very confident in our water supply," Evans said. "We feel it's very clean, yet there are some improvements we think we need to make in the way we do our sampling."

Botkin said the city was reviewing test sites, laboratory procedures and the impact of the hot weather to find the cause. "We will find what's causing this. We will find it," he said.

In the interim, Smithfield businesses are losing money to diners who would rather travel farther to avoid the water issue.

Andy Gemmell, a 35-year-resident of Smithfield, said he likes to patronize local businesses but decided to eat out in Clayton Thursday night.

David Isik, owner of Angelo's Pizzeria, cut back on his dinner staff after the advisory was issued. "I had one employee supposed to come in this afternoon, I told him with the new water advisory, it’s too slow. I can’t afford for him to come in. I can't pay him."

Resident Chip Ragland also expressed his concern. "It's just bothersome they can't seem to clean up the water," he said. "I think my swimming pool water is probably cleaner than the city water, because I treat it."

21 Comments

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  • beckerunc Jul 9, 2010

    What are the testing procedures? How are the results published? What are you drinking?

  • beckerunc Jul 9, 2010

    test

  • nerdlywehunt Jul 9, 2010

    tictock-"I always wondered what was wrong with them people in Smithfield. I know now it was the water all this time!'

    Also could be the hoods that they use to wear...........

  • nerdlywehunt Jul 9, 2010

    NERD, I DO NOT AGREE////////////////
    delilahk2000
    July 9, 2010 12:19 p.m.
    Ignore Report abuse

    Not a debate but just the facts........all over NC the well water in most wells less than 200 feet deep is not fit to drink! Sorry to bust your bubble but I use to work for a state agency that tested the safety of wells for taxpayers..........absolutely shocking! In eastern NC the proliferation of chicken and hog lagoons has destroyed the clean water in the aquifer. All for a few jobs and cheap BBQ.....thank your lawmakers that allowed this. They were eventually ran out of Utah and NC welcomed them with open arms.......

  • ranquick Jul 9, 2010

    the town of Smithfield needs to be working on this 24 x 7 till fixed, god knows they charge more than enough in Electric, water, sewage, garbage each month!

  • Taketime Jul 9, 2010

    7/9/10.... One bussiness owner's employees in Smithfeild did not warn people.The drink machines had the water in it that was to be banned and the ice also. They did not pour it out or put a sign on it. "Hardees at Smithfeild" This morning my husband and I went to eat there for breakfast. We placed our order and the cash register person gave us our cups with out saying a word about the drink machine not being safe. When I went to get a refill did she say something. Oh no you have to get it from be hind the counter she said. I looked at her and ask if it was not safe ..she aswered no. I ask why did you not tell me this when I got my 1st cup? Why is there not a sign on it and why is it NO POURED OUT AND MACHINE WASED. Her words to me was not get mad with her . I told her I was not mad ,but this should have not had happen. There were other people in there that did the same thing. I ask for the manger and she did not do nothing at all at this time. I did ask for her name and told her she n

  • tictock Jul 9, 2010

    Sorry...I was referring to all those people that got sick not you!

  • RedStatesManWatts Jul 9, 2010

    tictock-"I always wondered what was wrong with them people in Smithfield. I know now it was the water all this time!'

    Watch it now!

  • Justin T. Jul 9, 2010

    "We feel it's very clean, yet there are some improvements we think we need to make in the way we do our sampling."

    Really? That's allegedly what led to the BP explosion... when the tests aren't good run the test over and over or change the criteria until it passes. Pretty sad.

  • tictock Jul 9, 2010

    I always wondered what was wrong with them people in Smithfield. I know now it was the water all this time!

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