City schools closing, Boil Water Advisory issued for OWASA customers after water main break

Orange County News
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A water main break at an OWASA treatment plant has shut down a road, will require customers to limit their water use, resulted in a Boil Water Advisory and is closing city schools, according to officials.

A main water line from the company’s Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant broke Monday morning, impacting 80,000 customers in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

UNC has also canceled classes beginning at 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday and all non-mandatory operations are suspended.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will be closing early Monday due to the water main break, officials announced.

Elementary schools will be closing at 11:30 a.m., middle schools at noon and high schools at 1 p.m. All after school programs and activities will be canceled.

Meanwhile, UNC Medical Center has temporarily suspended elective surgeries due to the water shortage. The hospital is also not accepting transfer patients.

Trauma patients are currently being redirected to other facilities in the area. Visitation with Medical Center patients will be limited until full water service is restored, officials say.

The Chapel Hill Public Library will also be closed Monday because of the incident. There will be no fines for items that are due Monday, officials said.

All customers in Chapel Hill and Carrboro will need to limit water use to only essential purposes, according to officials. The main break is draining OWASA’s water storage and crews are on-site trying to isolate the issue.

The agency is asking customers to only use water for drinking and basic hygiene. Overuse will drain the storage quicker.

Due to the issues, UNC-Chapel Hill had to close their retail/food operations with some exceptions. According to the school’s dining services Twitter account, the operations that remain open are Chase, TOL, Beach Cafe, McColl Cafe, Blue Ram, Raynor, Law Bar, Atrium, and Genomic.

OWASA customers should boil any tap water before drinking it. An afternoon update provided by OWASA said that due to decreased pressure in the area, running water from taps may have low pressure or no pressure. That could result in no water flowing through some taps.

Jones Ferry Road is closed between Bim Street and Barnes Street in Carrboro.

Customers can visit OWASA online for updates.

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