A Boil Water Advisory – What is this and What do I do?

You receive a call, text or email about a water main break and a boil water advisory from Carolina Water Service. But what does this mean? Is my water safe to use? What do I do? Below is information about what a Boil Water Advisory is and what you need to do to keep your family safe during these notices.

A Boil Water Advisory is a public health recommendation from Carolina Water Service, Inc. of North Carolina (CWSNC) advising customers to boil their tap water before using it. This is in response to an event that could have allowed contaminants to enter the water distribution system. Because the water quality is unknown, customers should assume the water is unsafe to drink and take the necessary precautions listed below.

When does CWSNC issue a Boil Water Advisory?
Typically, we issue a Boil Water Advisory after a water main break repair, small or widespread loss of pressure in our water system, or a natural disaster.

In some cases, our crews can repair a water main while maintaining adequate pressure to prevent contamination from entering the water distribution system. (When we do a repair in this way, no Boil Water Advisory is needed.)

When we issue a Boil Water Advisory, we notify only the customers affected. If the risk of contamination is widespread, CWSNC will put information on our website, notify customers using our My Utility Connect application to inform the public. You can also find these notifications on our website under the Service Alerts Tab – the red tab at the top right corner of the website.

How long will a Boil Water Advisory be in effect?
An advisory will remain in effect until bacteriological test samples show the water is safe to drink. Bacteriological testing typically takes 24 to 28 hours to complete.

What should I do during a Boil Water Advisory?
Boil tap water before using it for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth or preparing food. Bring tap water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute and let it cool.

Should I use my coffee maker, water or ice dispenser when a boil water advisory is in effect?
During an advisory, do not use water from any appliance connected to your water lines. This includes water and ice dispensers in your refrigerator/freezer. Use boiled or bottled water to make coffee and ice.

How should I wash dishes during a Boil Water Advisory?
Household dishwashers are generally safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit or if the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle.

To wash dishes by hand:
Use boiled water; or wash and rinse dishes as normal. Then in a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household bleach for each gallon of warm water. Soak dishes in basin for a least 1 minute. Let dishes air dry completely.

Should I bathe or shower during a Boil Water Advisory?
It is safe to bath or shower but be careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.

Can I wash my hands during a boil water advisory?
Yes, vigorous handwashing with soap and your tap water is safe for basic personal hygiene. However, if you are washing your hands to prepare food, you should use boiled (then cooled) water, disinfected or bottled water with hand washing soap.

What if I drank some of the water before I found out about the advisory?
This advisory was issued as a precaution, so your risk of getting sick is very low. However, if you begin to have a fever, diarrhea, or nausea you should seek medical attention.

How will I know when the advisory or notice has been lifted?
CWSNC will rescind the Boil Water Advisory when the results from the testing have been confirmed that the water is safe to drink. You will receive your notification the same way you were informed of the advisory.

Is a Boil Water ADVISORY the same as a Boil Water NOTICE? NO!
We issue a Boil Water Advisory when water contamination is possible. In an advisory, we recommend that affected customers boil CWSNC water before consumption or use bottled water. A Boil Water Advisory is voluntarily issued when water contamination is possible. We provide the notification as a courtesy to keep our customers safe just in case.  During an advisory we recommend that customers vigorously boil water for at least 1 minute before consumption or drink bottled water.

We issue a Boil Water Notice when contamination is confirmed in the water system. During a notice, affected customers must boil their water before consumption or use bottled water. A Boil Water Notice is required by law to be issued when contamination is confirmed in the water system. During a notice, affected customers must boil water before consumption or use bottled water.

If you have any questions, call our Customer Service Department at (800) 525-7990

 

FATS, OILS, and GREASE – OH MY!

Bacon! Sizzling in the frying pan, browning to perfection, ready to be applied to that lettuce, bacon and tomato sandwich – YUM!

But what should you do with the remaining grease? Pour it down the sink!?!?

Simple! Follow our guidelines for how to properly dispose of fats, oils, and grease or FOG!

First, NEVER pour fats, oils or grease down the sink!  This could result in a Sanitary Sewer Overflow.

Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO) occur when untreated wastewater flows from the collection system and into the environment due to abnormal causes.

A wide variety of factors can cause an SSO but the leading cause for decades has been Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG). These substances, when poured down the drain, solidify in the sewer pipes and cause blockages that do not allow normal wastewater to flow.

If the blockage becomes large enough, normal wastewater flow will begin to back up and release elsewhere, such as a manhole or cleanout.  The untreated wastewater then flows freely into storm drains, creeks and lakes that can have a severe impact. YUCK!

Here are some examples of FOG that you should never put down the drain.

FATS

  • Cheeses
  • Ice Cream
  • Butter
  • Meat Trimmings

 OILS

  • Salad Dressings
  • Cooking Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Corn Oil

GREASE

  • Gravy
  • Bacon/Sausage
  • Mayonnaise

So, how do you properly dispose of fog? Easy!  Scrape all pans into garbage. Then Dry Wipe pan with paper towel and dispose of in garbage. Pour liquid oil or grease into solid container (ex: glass jar, metal coffee can etc.) and allow to cool and solidify. Then toss in garbage. Contact your local government to see if they have a cooking oil recycling program.

 

A new major factor that has been contributing to SSOs has been Flushable wipes. Although these wipes are flushable, they do not break down like normal tissue paper does. As a result, these wipes get stuck in the sewer pipes and the pumps that move the wastewater. If you use these wipes, please dispose of them in the garbage not the toilet.

Enjoy your bacon but be responsible and properly dispose of that grease!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips to prevent frozen pipes!

Brrr. It is getting colder and colder with winter nipping at our noses! Now is the time to take precautions to prevent frozen pipes. Below are some tips to help you prepare for the winter season!
Winter weather brings icy winds and dipping temperatures which can do a lot of damage to your home by freezing pipes and leaving you without flowing water. There are many precautions you can take now to help you avoid the expense and inconvenience of frozen pipes during an extended cold spell.

frozen
Before Freezing Weather
1. Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets. If your home has a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets (usually located in the basement or crawl space) then use it to shut the water off to your outside faucets. Then go outside and turn on the faucets to drain water from the line. If your home does not have a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then wrap each outside faucet with insulation or newspaper.

2. Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas such as the garage, crawl space, or attic. Check with your local home improvement store for which materials to use to insulate your pipes.

3. Show household members how to turn off water to the house in case of emergencies. The main shut-off valve is often located near the water heater or the washing machine. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house – kitchen, bath, basement, or crawl space – this valve turns it off.

4. Turn off and drain irrigation systems and backflow devices. Wrap backflow devices with insulating material.

5. Cover foundation vents with foam blocks, thickly folded newspaper, or cardboard.

During Freezing Weather
1. Leave the heat on at least 55 degrees and open cupboard doors under sinks, especially where plumbing is in outside walls, to let interior heat warm the pipes.

2. Temporarily, keep a steady drip of cold water at an inside faucet farthest from the meter. This keeps water moving, making it less likely to freeze.

3. If you are away for any length of time, you may consider shutting off your home’s water to reduce the chances of frozen or broken pipes. Contact your water provider for more information on how to do this.

4. Have your plumber and water provider’s telephone number handy. During an extended cold spell, your pipes might freeze despite the best precautions.

If Your Pipes Freeze
1. Determine which pipe(s) are frozen. If some faucets work but others don’t, that means pipes inside your home are likely frozen. If none of your faucets work, there may be a problem at the street – contact your water provider.

2. Find the frozen pipe(s) and attempt to thaw them with a hair dryer using a low setting. Wave the hair dryer back and forth along the frozen area. NEVER thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame.

3. Shut off water and power (or gas) to the water heater if you have a leak or a broken pipe. Contact your water provider if you are unable to find the shut-off valve or the valve doesn’t work. Check with a plumber or home improvement store for leak repair supplies

Boil Water Advisories – useful information!

What is a Boil Water Advisory?
A Boil Water Advisory is a public health recommendation from Carolina Water Service, Inc. of North Carolina (CWSNC) advising customers to boil their tap water before using it. This is in response to an event that could have allowed contaminants to enter the water distribution system. Because the water quality is unknown, customers should assume the water is unsafe to drink and take the necessary precautions listed below.

When does CWSNC issue a Boil Water Advisory?
Typically, we issue a Boil Water Advisory after a water main break repair, small or widespread loss of pressure in our water system, or a natural disaster.

In some cases, our crews can repair a water main while maintaining adequate pressure to prevent contamination from entering the water distribution system. (When we do a repair in this way, no Boil Water Advisory is needed.)

When we issue a Boil Water Advisory, we notify only the customers affected. If the risk of contamination is widespread, CWSNC will put information on our website,  notify customers using our My Utility Connect application, social media, etc. to inform the public.

How long will a Boil Water Advisory be in effect?
An advisory will remain in effect until bacteriological test samples show the water is safe to drink. Bacteriological testing typically takes 24 to 28 hours to complete.

What should I do during a Boil Water Advisory?
Boil tap water before using it for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth or preparing food. Bring tap water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute and let it cool.

Should I use my coffee maker, water or ice dispenser when a boil water advisory is in effect?
During an advisory, do not use water from any appliance connected to your water lines. This includes water and ice dispensers in your refrigerator/freezer. Use boiled or bottled water to make coffee and ice.

How should I wash dishes during a Boil Water Advisory?
Household dishwashers are generally safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit or if the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle.

To wash dishes by hand:
Use boiled water; or wash and rinse dishes as normal. Then in a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household bleach for each gallon of warm water. Soak dishes in basin for a least 1 minute. Let dishes air dry completely.

Should I bathe or shower during a Boil Water Advisory?
It is safe to bath or shower, but be careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.

Can I wash my hands during a boil water advisory?
Yes, vigorous handwashing with soap and your tap water is safe for basic personal hygiene. However, if you are washing your hands to prepare food, you should use boiled (then cooled) water, disinfected or bottled water with hand washing soap.

What if I drank some of the water before I found out about the advisory?
This advisory was issued as a precaution, so your risk of getting sick is very low. However, if you begin to have a fever, diarrhea, or nausea you should seek medical attention.

How will I know when the advisory or notice has been lifted?
CWSNC will rescind the Boil Water Advisory when the results from the testing have been confirmed that the water is safe to drink. You will receive your notification the same way you were informed of the advisory.

Is a Boil Water ADVISORY the same as a Boil Water NOTICE? NO!
We issue a Boil Water Advisory when water contamination is possible. In an advisory, we recommend that affected customers boil CWSNC water before consumption or use bottled water. A Boil Water Advisory is voluntarily issued when water contamination is possible.We provide the notification as a courtesy to keep our customers safe just in case.  During an advisory we recommend that customers vigorously boil water for at least 1 minute before consumption or drink bottled water.

We issue a Boil Water Notice when contamination is confirmed in the water system. During a notice, affected customers must boil their water before consumption or use bottled water. A Boil Water Notice is required by law to be issued when contamination is confirmed in the water system. During a notice, affected customers must boil water before consumption or use bottled water.

If you have any questions, call our Customer Service Department at 800) 525-7990.

NEW My Utility Connect App is Live

We’re excited to offer you a convenient way to make payments, manage usage,
and connect with us with our new customer portal and mobile application, MyUtilityConnect.
With a few simple steps, you can begin managing your utility account online and receive these immediate features at your fingertips:
A new way to pay and manage your utility bill is here!

Introducing MyUtilityConnect

  • Access to your account anytime, anywhere, for quick and secure payments
  • Receive notifications when your bill is about to be due or if you missed a payment
  • Receive notifications and estimated restoration time when unexpected outages occur
  • View current and historical usage to monitor trends

Get started with these simple steps:

  1. Visit connect.myutility.us or search “MyUtilityConnect” in the Apple App or Google Play store, or by scanning the QR code at the bottom of this page.
  2. Click “Register” and have your account #, zip code and email ready
  3. When prompted, you will in the rest of your account information
  4. Enjoy the convenience of managing your utility account at your fingertips!

WSC_resident_letter_northcarolina

My Utility Connect Application Coming Soon!

As you may know, we provide water services for residents living in your community, which is why I’m reaching out to you directly to inform you about a new online portal and mobile application that will be available in February 2019!

Our application, MyUtilityConnect, provides customers an easier way to manage their utility account and obtain account information anytime, anywhere. Some of the features available in the mobile application include:

  • Mobile bill payments, reminders on upcoming due date, and flexible payment options
  • Visibility on monthly usage; identify areas where you can conserve and compare your usage to previous time periods
  • Real-time notifications when unexpected leaks and outages occur
  • A faster and easier way to connect with customer support

We’re very excited to give our customers the ability to better monitor their utility account. We also want to make sure our customers are aware this tool is available. To learn more about this application click on this link for a quick video on what and how this will work!

https://www.myutility.us/CarolinaWaterServiceNC/app/

Winter Weather Announcement for December 7, 2018

The Carolina Water Service, Inc. of North Carolina (CWSNC)  team is preparing for the upcoming winter weather anticipated to begin December 8th through December 10th.

Assets (generators, fuel) used for keeping your water and wastewater systems working during weather-related storms are being prepared throughout all potentially impacted service areas.

In the event there are outages, customers will be notified via a VOICE REACH by phone. Please be patient!

Staff will work as quickly as possible to restore services in the event of an outage. Due to an increase volume of customer calls during the winter storm, the Customer Service Department may need extra time to take your call.

Announcements will also be placed on the CWSCN Twitter and Facebook pages – @CarolinaWaterNC and on our website at https://www.myutility.us/carolinawaterservicenc.

Now is also the time to prepare your family and home for any upcoming winter weather. Stay tuned to your local weather provider and do not drive unless absolutely necessary.