Caldwell County authorities say a mistake by crews laying fiber-optic cable was responsible for a ruptured water line that cut off service to about 20,000 customers late Tuesday and Wednesday.
The line was repaired shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday, but Caldwell County utilities crews were still working at midafternoon on clearing contaminants from the water lines. Until that was completed, residents were advised to boil all water used for human consumption and not use tap water for washing clothes or taking baths and showers.
“Until all the water can be cleared and tested, and the all-clear given, we are advising residents to follow the advisory,” said Barry Calloway, public utilities supervisor for Caldwell County.
Crews opened fire hydrants throughout the county to help flush the lines.
Officials say crews working on fiber-optic line installation hit a fire hydrant and knocked it loose around midday Tuesday at Connelly Springs Road and Andrews Circle. Crews were trying to repair the hydrant, but the line broke loose around 8:30 p.m.
That forced officials to cut off the water to residents of Lenoir and the southern and western parts of Caldwell County. The Caldwell County Schools opened on a three-hour delay Wednesday because of the water-service problems.