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Water customers experience discoloration, but is safe to drink



(Updated May 21, 3:45 pm)

EM Director says water is safe to drink

According to Emergency Management Director Russell Greene, due to heavy water usage Wednesday, May 20, 2015, Alexander County and the City of Hickory water customers are experiencing discoloration in their water. These customers are located throughout Ellendale, Wittenburg, and Bethlehem.

Over 15 million gallons of water was distributed throughout the system on Wednesday, the largest amount used in over four years. Greene, along with the City of Hickory wants to let these customers know the water is safe to drink.

The City of Hickory staff released information Thursday stating the discoloration is a temporary situation and may not be noticed by all customers of the system in the affected areas. The water is safe to drink and use as normal. Public Utilities staff will be performing targeted flushing of the system but does not plan to perform system wide flushing since this would only serve to increase demand on the system further and work to make the issue worse instead of better.

Customers should refrain from using hot water as soon as possible after experiencing discoloration, to prevent the hot water heater from getting discolored.  City of Hickory stafff suggest that anyone affected by the water discoloration should refrain from washing light colored items during the time of the discoloration.

UPDATE: If water discoloration persists into Friday, please call (828) 323-7500 to report your name and address so that the City of Hickory staff has a copy of your information.

Greene noted, “Alexander County and the City of Hickory appreciates the patience of those affected.”


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