Local News

Cary Shuts Down Reclaimed Water System

Posted August 1, 2007 10:02 p.m. EDT
Updated August 1, 2007 10:11 p.m. EDT

— Cary shut down its reclaimed water system Wednesday after discovering two more houses where reclaimed water was coming out of the faucet.

The shutdown affected 519 customers, including 458 homes, and should be completed overnight Wednesday, city officials said.

The shutdown may last up to a week, officials said.

“We’re doing this out of an abundance of caution and in keeping with our commitment to public health,” said Assistant Town Manager Ben Shivar, in a statement.

“Completely shutting down the entire reclaimed system will provide us with the opportunity to complete the water testing we have underway to ensure that no more problem connections exist," Shivar continued.

Reclaimed water is treated wastewater that does not meet the health standards of drinkable water.

Cary residents use the reclaimed water service to irrigate lawns, commercial cooling and dust control, officials said.

Cary began sampling the water at all new homes after finding two homes where the lines for reclaimed and potable water had been switched on July 23.

The two homes found Wednesday also had their lines switched and were in the same neighborhood as the earlier two houses.

“It’s our practice to conduct a detailed evaluation of our responses to emergencies, and it was during our analysis of our response to last week’s events that we decided that further verification would be prudent, which is what led us to discover today’s problems at Kennicott,” said Shivar.

Two of the homes are on Kennicott Avenue, one on Rensford Place and one on Spencer Crest Court, all in the Weston Oaks subdivision.

All of the homes are relatively new, and two were occupied.

Officials relocated a family into a hotel from one of the houses where the water problem was found Wednesday.

Their home water system must be flushed, sanitized and tested, officials said. That process normally takes between 36 and 48 hours, officials said.

The family moved into the Kennicott Avenue home three weeks ago.

Reclaimed and potable water had been switched at one home since December 2006.

City officials said they're working hard to restore the reclaimed water service and apologized to customers.

"We do apologize for any inconvenience to our reclaimed customers during the shutdown, especially this time of year when reclaimed service is so popular. We’ll be working hard to restore service as soon as possible," said Shivar.