UPDATE: Boil water advisory in effect
by Anna Oakes
The boil water advisory in
the town of Boone remains in effect, but officials hope to lift the advisory sometime after noon
“I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to lift the full ban sometime after lunch,” said Rick Miller, Boone public utilities director, Wednesday morning. “We’re finishing up our testing right now.”
Boone water customers are advised to boil all water for human consumption
(including drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation) or to use
A vigorous boil for one minute should kill any disease-causing organisms that may be present in the water, the town said.
A contractor for the town has been working for the past few weeks to replace a sewer main along Boone Heights Drive and U.S. 321. Miller said a water main break occurred when workers struck a water line while boring under U.S. 321 near Pride Drive.
As a result, the system lost pressure in
the lines, which increases the potential for back siphonage and introduction of bacteria into the
water system, a statement from the town said.
“We’re still having to verify that nothing got pulled back into the
lines. It’s precautionary,” Miller said.
Park Elementary and Watauga High School dismissed students at 9 a.m. Wednesday due to water
problems. The afterschool program at Hardin Park and middle school athletic events at WHS will also
be cancelled today. Other schools are operating on a regular schedule.
A number of childcare facilities and other businesses announced closings as a
result of the water issue.
Beth Lovette, director of the
Appalachian District Health Department, said restaurants and other establishments are operating
under strict guidelines as a result of the advisory.
“We’ve got very specific guidance for restaurants and facilities that
we inspect in a situation like this,” Lovette said.
Water for consumption must be bottled, food service workers must use hand sanitizers after hand washing and dishes must be washed with hot water sanitizing cycles. Facilities not equipped with 180-degree Fahrenheit dish machines must use single-service eating and drinking utensils.