OKATIE, SC (WCSC) - Some Hardeeville residents are under a precautionary boil water advisory following a water main failure.
Officials of Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control are asking residents in Hardeeville within a 1.25-mile radius from the intersection of Whyte Hardee Boulevard, Main Street and Church Street to boil their water before using it for drinking, cooking or dish washing.
BJWSA is currently sampling the drinking water in the area to ensure that no harmful bacteria are present, but results are not expected until late Friday afternoon.
SC DHEC requires water utilities issue a boil water advisory as a precautionary measure when such an event occurs that allows the possibility for bacteria to enter the public water system.
Such an event may include a loss of water pressure, which could allow bacteria in soil and groundwater to enter water pipes through cracks or leaks. A drop in pressure could also cause backflow, which is best defined by the example of a garden hose in a bucket of dirty water "sucking" that water back into the public water system when the water pressure drops, although backflow prevention valves make this unlikely.
Residents and businesses in the affected area are urged to use boiled or bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, preparing food and giving to pets until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms that may be present in the water.
Some water filters do not protect against bacteria, so customers with filters are advised to contact the manufacturer for more information or boil their tap water.
The water is safe for bathing and doing laundry.
Residents are urged to tell their neighbors about this situation who may not receive this message.
Click here for more information from the utility's website: www.bjwsa.org.