Clayton Water Customers Told to Boil Water
Posted June 19, 2007 5:23 p.m. EDT
Updated June 20, 2007 9:58 a.m. EDT
Clayton, N.C. — Clayton officials issued a boil-water advisory to all town water customers Tuesday afternoon after tests revealed coliform bacteria in the water.
Until further notice, people should boil water for one minute to kill any disease-causing organisms, officials said. They also recommended that children less than 6 months old and pregnant women use bottled water because boiling concentrates any nitrates that are in the water.
Total coliform bacteria generally are not harmful, officials said, but their presence indicates that other, harmful bacteria might have got into the water.
Water should be boiled for all human uses, they said, including hand-washing.
Town officials confirmed that they had known Monday of the results showing bacteria in two of 15 regular testing locations. They said they thought of using a phone-tree notification system, but they conferred with state officials Tuesday and were told they should use a media alert instead, they said.
It was unclear why the announcement was delayed until about 5 p.m. Tuesday
Officials said they had flushed water lines and taken more samples Tuesday and were hoping that results on Wednesday would show the warning could be lifted.
At the Skylines Café in Clayton, the alert created one more challenge on a busy night Tuesday.
Boiled drinking water was chilling in the freezer, and boiled water for hand-washing was in a container in the restrooms.
Owner Tina Bolick said she heard the news just in time.
“It could affect my business in a harmful way. People could come back and say, ‘You served all this water we didn't know what was going on,’” Bolick said.
“I think communication could've been better,” she said.
Customer Christina Bagley said she was not very worried.
“I am a big water drinker. I think the problem will resolve itself,” she said. “I've already had three glasses tonight. If it's going to get me, it's going to get me.”