Editor’s Note: This story has updated in the last 24 hours, please see the new story: Tap water in Chapel Hill-Carrboro off limits until later this weekend.
The Orange Water and Sewer Authority began receiving drinking water from the City of Durham late Thursday afternoon after an accidental overfeed of fluoride within the water treatment process, the utility announced.
The overfeed of fluoride was contained within the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant, according to a news release. No water with higher than normal fluoride reached the water pipe system supplying OWASA customers.
OWASA expects to continue receiving water from Durham for a few days while facilities affected within the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant are cleaned.
OWASA customers are not expected to experience changes in water pressure, reliability of service or quality and safety of the water.
However, customers may notice some discoloration in water. The discoloration, which results from stirring up sediment in water pipes, does not make the water unsafe but it should not be used for laundry, cooking, drinking, etc. Customers are asked to report discoloration to OWASA by calling 919-968-4421 (24-hour number).
OWASA reported the fluoride overfeed within the water treatment plant to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. The incident Thursday does not involve a violation of drinking water standards because the affected water was contained within the treatment plant, the release said.
OWASA and other utilities add fluoride to drinking water to help prevent tooth decay.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70 years of scientific research has shown an optimal level of fluoride in community water helps reduce tooth decay by at least 25 percent in both children and adults.