Orange County officials: Water is now safe to use

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Sunday, February 5, 2017
Water crisis over in Chapel Hill
The water emergency is over in Orange County

CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The Orange County Health Department and Orange Water And Sewer Authority (OWASA) said Saturday afternoon that OWASA water is safe for drinking and other uses, but customers should limit use to essential purposes because water supplies remain below normal levels.

If you have questions about water issues, text OWASAWATER to 888777 or call 919-245-6111.

"OWASA tested samples from across the service area to ensure the water is safe for public consumption," said Orange County Health Director Colleen Bridger. "All of the tests came back safe earlier this afternoon. In light of these results, Orange County Health Department is rescinding the Do Not Use order."

Bridger also said hotels and restaurants can re-open.

Residents who were affected by the water shortage were able to claim free water supplies in Chapel Hill and Carrboro Saturday morning.

Orange Water and Sewer Authority said it started getting water from the City of Durham late Thursday after an accidental overfeed of fluoride within the water treatment process at the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant.

Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant.

Then there was a major water main break Friday morning on the northeast side of Chapel Hill near Dobbins Drive, and officials say the alternative water supply was able to keep up with demand.

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WATCH: Officials give update on water emergency

Officials give an update on the water emergency in Orange County

UNC postponed the men's basketball game against Notre Dame to Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum. Visit for more information.

MORE: ABC11 Together - How to help, get water in Orange County water emergency

The Chapel Hill Public Library and all Parks and Recreation facilities are closed Saturday. Transit and public safety services are operating normally.

MORE: No water at UNC, students respond on social media

Business owners affected by the emergency were clearly frustrated.

"Very disappointed, very frustrated, especially for me because I am a 24-hour business. I never ever, ever closed the door. I don't even have a key to the door. I don't even know how to lock it," said Eddie Williams/Owner Of Time Out.

Related story: How to save water in your house, room-by-room