Charleston Water officials warn of potential boil water notice

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The Charleston Water System is issuing a critical notice to its customers as they deal with leaks and power issues.

Water officials say more than 400 customers have reported their pipes burst or froze due to the cold overnight temperatures. That caused the pipes to actively leak, said Charleston Water System spokesman Mike Saia.

Because of all the water leaks, the Charleston water system produces 100 million gallons of water per day. The water company says it can’t safely produce much more.

Officials say there is a potential risk of a system-wide boil water notice. However, this notification has not been issued yet. A boil water advisory is different from a boil water advisory because it requires boiling.

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“It has a big impact on families who are at home celebrating the holidays for businesses, especially hotels and restaurants,” says Saia.

A boil water advisory could affect about half a million people throughout the Charleston area, according to Saia. And it’s not just for Charleston Water customers, as the announcement may also affect municipalities that receive water through the Charleston Water System.

“It’s very plain and simple; it is death by 1,000 cuts,” says Saia. “If we have hundreds or thousands of pipes leaking under people’s homes, that means a lot of water is being lost. And that’s just the customers who called us, we have wholesale customers who may be having the same problem. Especially many beach communities or homes that are simply uninhabited. So if they’re bleeding, we’re feeding those communities while they’re bleeding out, and that’s just putting more and more strain and demand on our water treatment.

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The Charleston Water System is asking you to test your water now.

“Just listen to the pipes right now,” he says. “You can tell when water is running in your home. If you think nothing is working, you probably have a leak.

In the event of a water leak, options provided by Charleston Water include:

  • Turn off at shutdown.
  • Turn off the water in the meter using the water key.
  • Call Charleston Water System at 843 727-6800. They will turn it off at the meter – free of charge.
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Water officials also call for faucets to drip.

“If you haven’t started, drip pipes, drip faucets one drop per second,” he said. “Turn them on and save yourself a huge headache. You can help us save the community’s water supply.

Charleston County hasn’t had a boil water advisory in more than 100 years, according to the Charleston Water System.

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