Schools and restaurants in Chapel Hill and surrounding areas were forced to close Friday following a water main break on the northeast side of Chapel Hill.
The issues began Thursday afternoon when there was an accidental overfeed of fluoride within the water treatment process at OWASA’s Jones Ferry Road water treatment plant.
OWASA began receiving water from the city of Durham late Thursday afternoon, but the water flow was not high enough to fill water storage tanks to normal levels, resulting in a water shortage.
Friday morning, a break occurred in the water main near Dobbins Drive in Chapel Hill, water in OWASA’s storage tanks dropped to critically low levels and OWASA informed customers to limit use of water to essential purposes only. Soon after, at 11 a.m. on Friday, the Orange County Health Department issued Do Not Drink and Do Not Use directives for OWASA water, and OWASA sent customers an emergency message instructing them to halt all water use immediately.
During the shortage, OWASA encouraged residents to use bottled water for personal hygiene, cooking and drinking.Because water storage supplies were so low, using water could contaminate the system. OWASA couldn’t guarantee that the water was safe to drink without testing.
The Orange County health director ordered restaurants to close Friday afternoon. Several restaurants said their business was affected...............