BEAUFORT, SC (WCSC) - Authorities issued a precautionary boil water advisory for residents in the city of Beaufort after a contractor hit a water line.
Officials with the Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control urged city residents to boil their water before using for drinking, cooking or dishwashing. The advisory area includes all of downtown Beaufort from the County Office Building on Ribaut Road to Carteret Street and up through Pigeon Point; to Bay Street and the Old Point.
Residents are urged to boil their water vigorously for at least one minute, then allow the water to cool.
When the contractor hit the water line, the water pressure dropped, which could have allowed bacteria to enter the water system, according to BJWSA spokesperson Pamela Flasch. In such situations, DHEC requires water utilities issue a boil water advisory as a precautionary measure, she said.
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, Flasch said.
BJWSA will retrieve samples of the drinking water after the line is repaired, in order to ensure that no harmful bacteria are present. Results are expected by Wednesday afternoon.