Ken Webb, CU president and CEO, said the local utility has received questions about the advisory that was intended for residents of the two nearby communities. The towns are next-door neighbors on the Tennessee-Georgia state line.
At least one caller early Friday expressed concerns that CU might be impacted, but Webb said Friday afternoon the advisory had nothing to do with the local utility company.
“We don’t know all the details surrounding the issues at Copperhill and McCaysville, but I can assure our customers at Cleveland Utilities that we are not affected,” Webb stressed. “Our customers can continue to use their water as would be normal, and without boiling.”
The advisory, which was attributed to Water Superintendent Todd Dillbeck, went out early Friday morning to regional news outlets. However, it did not disclose the reasons behind the advisory.
Efforts to contact Dillbeck at a telephone number provided with the advisory were unsuccessful.
Later in the day it was learned the advisory was based on significant leaks within the McCaysville water distribution system that crews were working to locate, according to published reports.
As a precautionary measure, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division instructed the city to issue the boil water advisory, as well as to conserve water, according to reports.
News media outlets following up on the advisory reported McCaysville City Clerk Nancy Godfrey described the public notice as precautionary. As of late Friday, the city had no evidence that the water was contaminated.
She said Copperhill buys its water from McCaysville. Some 500 Copperhill accounts are serviced with water by McCaysville, Godfrey explained.
Traditionally, a boil-water advisory is issued when a community's drinking water is, or could be, contaminated by pathogens. Under a boil-water advisory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that water be brought to a rolling boil for one minute before it is consumed in order to kill protozoa, bacteria and viruses. At altitudes above 2,000 meters, boiling should be extended to three minutes, as the lower temperature of the boiling point at high altitudes requires more time to kill such organisms.
The water advisory originally spanned through this weekend; however, until all the reported leaks are located and repaired, customers are being advised to boil their water. Officials planned to issue a public notice once the advisory had been lifted.
Erica Jordan, a spokeswoman, said Copperhill and McCaysville customers should notify the water department if they notice low pressure.
The telephone number that was provided is 423-496-5141, Ext. 2 or 4.