LaFayette, GA – As a precaution, a boil water advisory will remain in effect until further notice for certain areas of Walker County. On June 29, a routine inspection of the Walker County Water Treatment plant resulted in a positive E. coli sample from a source well, prior to treatment.
The boil water advisory only affects a portion of Walker County. Water from the well is used to service about 5,900 homes and businesses in the Walker County Water & Sewerage Authority (WCWSA) and City of LaFayette districts. The advisory area excludes anyone receiving water from Tennessee American, City of Chickamauga Water System, Walker County Rural Water, Dade County Water, Chattooga County Water, Dalton Utilities, Catoosa County Utility District and City of Fort Oglethorpe Water.
Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) officials believe surface water and/or storm water mixed with the well. A combination of the recent drought, geological changes and the wet spring may be to blame.
Out of an abundance of caution, testing efforts have been increased and there have been no positive samples from the treated water distributed to customers. Surface water requires a type of filtration the plant is not currently capable of treating.
WCWSA Board members and employees met with EPD officials today to evaluate short and long-term solutions. EPD agreed to expedite review of those plans, which include a portable filtration plant. Officials hope to have a solution in place within 14 days.
Since some of the proposed solutions would impact the available quantity of water in Walker County, Sole Commissioner and WCWSA Board Chair Shannon Whitfield and David Hamilton, LaFayette City Manager, issued a temporary water conservation declaration.
The following guidelines take effect immediately for all Walker County Water & Sewerage Authority and City of LaFayette water customers:
- Outdoor watering of lawns, gardens and trees is limited to a maximum of twice a week(even addresses and sites with no numbered address may water Wednesdays and Saturdays before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., while those in odd-numbered addresses may water on Thursdays and Sundays before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.)
- Watering of personal food gardens is allowed any day before 10:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m.
The following activities are not allowed:
- No washing streets, gutters, sidewalks and driveways
- No ornamental uses, such as fountains and waterfalls
- No use of fire hydrants, except for the purpose of firefighting, public health, safety, or flushing
- No washing vehicles (cars, boats, etc.) at home
- No non-commercial washing or pressure washing
- No charity, or non-commercial fundraiser, car washes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offered these facts about what to do during a boil water advisory:
- Use boiled water to prepare drinks, even coffee. Most household coffee makers do not reach a temperature hot enough to remove bacteria
- Do not use ice from ice trays, ice dispensers or ice makers unless the water was boiled first or made with bottled water
- Most kitchen and household water filters do not remove bacteria or viruses
- Consider giving babies and young children a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water
- Brush teeth with boiled or bottled water
- Household dishwashers are generally safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees or if the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle
- It is safe to do laundry as usual
- Pets should also get boiled or bottled water to drink