Local News

Boil-Water Restrictions Lifted For Almost All Of Cary

Posted August 21, 2006 7:36 a.m. EDT

— Cary officials on Sunday night lifted a three-day order for residents to boil water after E.coli had been detected in a single house in a central Cary neighborhood.

The only exception to the order is for the 12 water customers who live in the Coronado Village subdivision.

"By hydraulically isolating the source area of the problem --

Coronado Way

-- we can now say with confidence that Cary's water is safe," said Cary Public Works Director Mike Bajorek.

The discovery at the house prompted the town to close restaurants and other businesses that serve food and to advise residents to boil water for three minutes before ingesting it. Customers in Holly Springs, Apex, Morrisville, Research Triangle Park and Raleigh-Durham International Airport were unaffected.

Public works crews disconnected the affected house from the town's water system and flushed the water system of the neighborhood where the bacteria was detected. Crews also added additional chlorine at the water treatment plant.

Testing on Sunday indicated the bacterial contamination had not spread into the rest of the town's water system, officials said Sunday evening.

"Given that sampling tests confirm that the water-quality problem did not spread throughout the system, only 99 customers surrounding Coronado Way will need to flush their home or business water systems before using tap water," town spokeswoman Susan Moran said in a news release. "And town crews are going door-to-door this afternoon delivering flushing instructions to them."

The announcement also means that restaurants and other commercial kitchens could reopen. Many small-business owners estimated they lost thousands of dollars while they were closed.

"We know that this has been a tremendous inconvenience to our citizens as well as an economic challenge for many of our businesses, and we appreciate their support and cooperation as we've worked hard to keep folks safe," Bajorek said.

Although the investigation remains ongoing, officials believe an unpermitted plumbing renovation on Coronado Way was the likely source of the problem, officials said.

E.coli infection can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches and other symptoms. Infants, young children and people with weakened immune systems may be more susceptible to symptoms and should be particularly careful.

There have been no reported cases of E.coli-related illnesses in area hospitals since the alert went into effect, officials said.