The Orange Water and Sewer Authority issued a timeline Wednesday that traces recent problems, from a fluoride overfeed to a two-day ban on local water usage, ahead of Thursday’s community discussion.
OWASA officials will receive customer comments and answer questions at the Board of Directors meeting, starting at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Chapel Hill Town Hall council chamber, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Local officials met Tuesday with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, business owners and managers. Comments also can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Andrea Orbich, Clerk to the Board, 400 Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro, NC 27510.
Meanwhile, OWASA has hired outside engineering consultants to investigate the fluoride overfeed and water main break. A news release Wednesday detailed what happened and how various agencies responded during the water emergency.
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The timeline was prepared using materials available as of 10 a.m. Wednesday and could be revised as new information is reported, OWASA officials said.
Thursday, Feb. 2
3 p.m., fluoride overfeed discovered and confirmed by OWASA Water Treatment Plant (WTP) staff
3:22 p.m., finished water pumping from WTP to distribution system is stopped
3:28 p.m., N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, Public Water Supply (PWS) notified
5:09 p.m., first Durham interconnection activated to maintain system pressure and meet system demands
6 p.m., news release issued by OWASA advising of the event and requesting conservation
7:22 p.m., began pumping over-fluoridated water from clearwell directly to OWASA Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)
8 p.m., notified PWS of ongoing actions to empty clearwell
11 p.m., second OWASA news release with additional information regarding event
Friday, Feb. 3
8 a.m., third OWASA news release with additional call for conservation
9:30 a.m., began activation measures for second interconnection with Durham on Highway 54
9:30 a.m., began flushing interconnection with Chatham County
9:30 a.m., began flushing interconnection with Hillsborough
10:13 a.m., OWASA water main broke in northeast Chapel Hill
11 a.m., OWASA requested activation of the Orange County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Water Emergency Team Partners
11:30 a.m., OWASA issued “DO NOT USE” directive to customers to prevent contamination and protect emergency supply
11:30 a.m., water main break isolated by locating and closing control valves
12 p.m., repair work began on water main break
2 p.m., Orange County Health Department (OCHD) issued “DO NOT USE” and “DO NOT DRINK” directives
2 p.m., second Durham interconnection activated to maintain pressure and storage
4 p.m., press briefing by Water Emergency Team Partners and OWASA at Orange County Emergency Operation Center
5:15 p.m., Chatham County interconnection activated
10:24 p.m., backup pump delivered to primary Durham interconnect and prepared for service
Saturday, Feb. 4
1:30 a.m., third backup pump activated for dewatering clearwell
9 a.m., began re-filling clearwell with non-fluoridated filtered water
10:30 a.m., water main repaired; flushing began to ensure water quality
12:34 p.m., all distribution samples found to be clear and absent of bacteriological indicators
2:24 p.m., “DO NOT USE” and “DO NOT DRINK” directives lifted by OCHD and OWASA
2:30 p.m., joint news release on safety of drinking water, progress on repairs, and request for conservation
3 p.m., press briefing on progress at Orange County Emergency Operation Center
3:30 p.m., boil water advisory issued for customers near line break
5:56 p.m., interconnection with Chatham County deactivated
6:30 p.m., discharge from clearwell completed
6:37 p.m., OWASA Water Treatment Plant back in full operation
7:47 p.m., second interconnection with Durham deactivated
9:04 p.m., primary interconnection with Durham deactivated