Who is informed and when, confusing to residents.
WAKE FOREST — A resident’s post on an online community message board about not being notified about the need to boil her drinking water has led to questions about area water advisories, such as who is affected, who is notified and what the procedures are to deal with it.
“I live near downtown Wake Forest and the city of Raleigh provides my water. Today, I got a notice that the ‘boil water’ notice had been lifted and that the water is safe for drinking, bathing, etc. However, I never received word that we should be boiling!” Bekah Stoneking posted at around 7 p.m. Tuesday. “Does anyone have any insight? I feel fine today, but Sunday and yesterday, I was sick. I wonder if it’s related.”
When reached by phone Tuesday night, Carolyn Dumas, Raleigh Public Utilities’ public information manager, said there were two public water-boil notices issued locally in the past few days.
Saturday, one was issued for 29 people living in an apartment building at 14130 Renaissance Lane in the Columns at Wakefield apartments in Raleigh. That’s a private water system, but a Raleigh crew fixed the rupture of an 8-inch water main on request. That notice was lifted Tuesday.
On Monday at 2 p.m., a valve failed in a water line at 237 N. Wingate, Wake Forest, which is near the intersection with Pine Avenue.
A 2-inch water valve was leaking water into the street, and a resident called Raleigh to fix it, said Elvis Medlin, assistant water system superintendent.
A crew made the fix and lifted the boil water advisory at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday. Only six customers were affected, Dumas said.
In both situations, all the affected residents were notified with door hangers when the boil water advisory was issued and when it was lifted, she said.
When pressed to explain how someone may have gotten one door hanger but not the other, Dumas speculated that wind could have blown it off or a child may have taken it.
Boil-water notices are issued as a precaution anytime there is low pressure — either from a water main break or other cause — that could allow contaminants into the system. It’s a frequent occurrence, said Medlin.
Only the affected customers are notified, unless it impacts more than 100 people, in which case a press release is issued.
After the pipe is fixed, city workers sample the water and test it for contaminants. If there aren’t any, the advisory is lifted.
“Anytime we shut a main down, we take samples just to make sure the water is 100-percent safe to drink,” Medlin added.
To reach Medlin, call 919-996-4564. There is also a city of Raleigh informational page about boil-water advisories at tiny.cc/ralwtrboil.
— David Leone