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Burlington ends boil water advisory, City says water is now safe

The City of Burlington lifted the boil water notice more than a day after the warning forced hundreds of businesses to close.

BURLINGTON, N.C. — On Friday night, the City of Burlington lifted the boil water advisory. The city said the water is now safe to drink, bathe in, wash and cook with. The city first issued the notice Thursday afternoon, when a water sample from a Burlington apartment complex was found with E. Coli bacteria.

The City of Burlington flushed out the water system for the apartment complex in question and then tested it again for the bacteria. The test took just over 24 hours to complete. The city said the tests came back clean. As of Friday evening, no E. Coli is present in the city's water distribution system.

The boil water advisory affected Burlington water customers in Elon, Whitsett, Haw River, Gibsonville, Ossipee and the Village of Alamance. The water is now safe to use in this area.

The City of Burlington said the contaminated spigot was first sampled on Wednesday and then again on Thursday. A second positive test forced the city to issue a boil water notice, according to federal regulations.

City officials said they worked with the apartment property owner to replace the contaminated spigot. Crews said they found decaying insects and other organic material in the pipes. They say this was likely the source of the contamination.

The advisory forced more than 800 businesses to close in the affected area. The city says these businesses are now safe to reopen as long as they follow a list of instructions: discard ice, food and beverages prepared when the water supply wasn't approved; clean and sanitize areas that may have been in contact with the contaminated water; flush pipes, faucets and any equipment linked to the water line; replace water filter cartridges; and flush any hot water heaters.

This is a developing story. WFMY News 2 will provide any updates to this story as more information becomes available.

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