Breaking News
More () »

800 businesses affected after city of Burlington issues boil water notice due to E. coli found during testing

City officials say it is an isolated incident they expect to resolve in two days.

BURLINGTON, N.C. — A boil water advisory is in place for almost all Burlington water customers.

After a routine sampling, officials found E. coli at a city water system location. The positive sample came from an outdoor spigot of a home.

Samples taken within the water system upstream or downstream of the spigot showed no bacteria and suggested it is an isolated problem. Workers have begun repair on the water mains and plumbing to address the issue.

The boil water notice impacts Burlington, Elon, Gibsonville, Whitsett, Haw River, Ossipee, and Village of Alamance, and some parts of Greensboro. Alamance Regional Medical Center and Elon University is affected by the advisory. The advisory is for people who get their water from the city of Burlington.

The city said 800 businesses are affected in the areas listed with the "same anticipated reopening window."

According to the city, even though it's not a widespread problem, federal and state regulations still require residents to boil their water until further notice. The boil water advisory is a precaution while water mains are flushed. The city said it has also increased its bacteriological sampling throughout the city water system.

The city said 4,000 gallons of bottled water are supplied to the medical center. They will assess to see if more water is needed.

Credit: Cone Health
Cone Health delivers 4,000 gallons of water to Alamance Medical Center after boil water notice is issued over e.coli found during routine testing.

The facility rescheduled 20 elective procedures as a precaution, a spokesperson said.

The city of Greensboro’s Water Resources Department closed the drinking water interconnect between the two cities Thursday. Field adjustments were performed to supply the southeast area of Greensboro with water from Greensboro’s water treatment plants.

On Friday, Alamance-Burlington School Systems announced its  ABSS Child Nutrition program will not be able to provide breakfast and lunch meals at school pick-up sites on Friday due to the advisory.

Residents in the area may see some discoloration in the water. If they do, they are urged to run the cold water for several minutes until it clears. According to Water Resources officials, the discoloration poses no health issues and is the result of flow reversal in the lines during source transition, the city of Greensboro said. If there is still discoloration after several minutes of flushing, residents can call Water Resources 24-hour contact center at 336-373-2033 to report discoloration.

E.coli/fecal coliform bacteria can cause illness and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of E. coli infection may vary, but could include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, the city advised.

All water should be boiled for one minute before drinking, washing dishes, and brushing teeth. Burlington officials said things should return to normal within two days.


Before You Leave, Check This Out