The boil water alert for Greenville has now been lifted, including homes on County Home Road.
Samples taken Thursday and Friday by the Greenville Utilities Commission all came back negative for E. coli bacteria.
GUC says it needed two consecutive negative tests to lift the alert for County Home Road. That second negative test returned on Friday morning.
GUC Plants Manager Barrett Lassiter says they will continue to sample water from County Home Road over the weekend and possibly into next week.
All restaurants and day care facilities have been allowed to reopen.
Residents do not have to flush pipes, or toss ice away since tests show there was no contamination found in any part of the system, expect for County Home Road.
Lassiter says people who live on County Home Road probably don't need to flush their pipes either. As long as they have been turning on their water to either bathe or flush toilets, Lassiter says that should be enough to have cleared the lines of any contamination.
Currently, GUC does not know what caused the contamination. Lassiter says they have looked at all the obvious possibilities, including new construction in the area, but have found no indication of a problem. Lassiter says this may have been a one-time occurrence, but they will continue testing the water to make sure it remains safe. If the coliform returns, Lassiter says, they will know there is a problem to be addressed.
A warning not to drink Greenville's water continues as crews work to find out how it became contaminated with the E. coli bacteria.
Samples of water have been collected from sites all across the city of Greenville. The tests take 18 hours to run. The next round of tests is expected back Thursday afternoon, possibly as early as 2 p.m. Depending on what the tests from the various sites show, the Greenville Utilities Commission could revise the boil alert area.
The Greenville Utilities Commission issued the boil water alert after tests done at a County Home Road day care center came back positive for fecal coliform.
This impacts all water customers of Greenville Utilities. Winterville says it is currently using its own water, and not getting any water from Greenville.
GUC says the county health department has ordered all restaurants that use water in food preparation to shut down until at least tomorrow.
Pitt County Health Director Dr. John Morrow says it's not a good idea to even shower with the water. Morrow says if you do shower, you should then sanitize your hands.
The boil alert includes water going to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, East Carolina University and Pitt Community College. Those institutions scrambled to find bottled water and make other contingency plans.
The utility says fecal coliform and E. coli can make you sick, and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.
GUC says all customers should boil water for one minute for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
The water system says it is flushing lines and hopes new tests show an all clear.
The utility anticipates resolving the problem within 48 hours.
·DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
·Fecal coliforms are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely comprised immune systems.
·The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.