Aqua North Carolina, Inc. issued a precautionary boil advisory for about 5,900 customers in Western Cumberland County Saturday due to a loss of water pressure in the system.
The advisory, which affected customers in the Cliffdale West and Tunbridge water systems off of Cliffdale and Raeford roads, could remain in effect until Tuesday, officials said.
Customers should not drink the water without boiling it first. All water used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation should be brought to a full boil for at least one minute, then allowed to cool before using it, or use bottled water.
Boiled or bottled water should be used until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water, officials said.
The loss of pressure resulted from some wells in the system failing to automatically turn on, officials said.
Aqua operations staff began manually putting the wells into service in the early evening Saturday and expected to have pressure restored by midnight. However, once pressure is restored, customers should continue to boil their water until further notice, officials said.
Because pressure was not maintained throughout the system during the event, North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources will require Aqua to collect bacteriological samples from the system to confirm the absence of coliform bacteria before lifting the boil order.
The samples, which will be collected on Sunday for testing on Monday, will take 24 hours for results.