published Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Copperhill, TN and McCaysville, GA short on water

UNDER A BOIL ORDER?

Here’s what to do:

  1. Fill a pot with water and heat until it reaches a rolling boil.
  2. Let boil for one minute
  3. Turn off the heat source and let water cool before putting it in a storage container.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • photo
    Residents in Copperhill, Tenn., and McCaysville, Ga., have been asked to conserve water.
    Illustration by Laura McNutt.

Residents in Copperhill, Tenn., and McCaysville, Ga., have been asked to conserve water because of equipment problems, heavy rains and a muddy Toccoa River.

Copperhill residents have additionally been asked to boil any water they use for drinking and cooking, according to City Clerk Amber Bledsoe.

"McCaysville, Ga., is where we get our water from. They're having issues at their plant and we're unable to get water from them," Bledsoe said Tuesday.

For the time being, Copperhill residents must use what the city has stored.

"We just want to make sure that everybody's water is safe. We're under a boil water advisory and a conserve water advisory until further notice," she said.

McCaysville's water plant experienced a pump malfunction, making the facility unable to process the muddy river water as fast as usual. As a result, all customers are affected, McCaysville City Clerk Nancy Godfrey said. The water utility has 2,800 households on its system.

Godfrey said no boil notice had been issued on the Georgia side, but that could change if stored water levels get too low.

"We are asking customers to conserve water for now," she said.

"We had a pump go down and after the heavy rains we had such muddy conditions in the river. That's par for the course here," Godfrey said.

"When it rains we have mud and it slows down the processing at the plant," she said. "And demand is high right now because we have a lot of rental cabins in the area and they're all full for the holiday."

For now, water customers are asked not to use "any more water than needed. Don't wash the cars, don't water lawns and flowers, don't fill up swimming pools," she said. "We can get caught up if it doesn't rain."

Copperhill officials hope supplies return to normal soon.

"We're hoping the problem will be resolved before we have to try to get our water somewhere else," Bledsoe said.

Copperhill's backup supplier is Copper Basin Utilities, she said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or twitter.com/BenBenton or www.facebook.com/ben.benton1 or 423-757-6569.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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