ROCK HILL, S.C — Many York County residents, businesses and even some restaurants were still relying on bottled and boiled water a day after a massive water main break.
Rock Hill and Fort Mill schools were closed Thursday, but will be operating on a normal schedule Friday.
30 million gallons of water was lost in a massive water main break on Cherry Road Wednesday, and the effects could still be felt Thursday afternoon.
A boil water advisory remains in effect for all of York County though, causing many businesses to remain closed.
The Improper Pig opened up their doors for dinner though. They were closed for lunch, and like many businesses along Main Street in Rock Hill, they had to make changes. Amor Artis Brewery in Fort Mill also opened up.
“It was a ghost town driving into work, it was really weird it was like what’s happening?” said Alex Sheeler who works at the brewery.
The 1,000-pound, 20-foot cast iron pipe that ruptured had businesses losing money and residents without water. Those who did have water were told it needed to be boiled for at least one minute before use in food, on dishes or even to brush your teeth.
“This was not anything other than an old pipe that has been under the ground since 1945 had outlived its life,” Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys said.
York County neighbors were told not to run dishwashers, ice makers or coffee makers until they were given the all-clear from officials.
“When we first find out we panicked we can’t use the dishwasher, using the sink is a no go and rinsing dishes before we pour our beer is a no go,” Sheeler said.
Amor Artis was using plastic cups because they can’t wash their beer steins.
“We do have hand sanitizer in the bathroom and for bartenders we are using bottled water to wash our hands because we you don’t want dirty hands touching your plastic cup full of beer,” Sheeler said.
Restaurants were serving canned drinks instead of fountain drinks, and Nova’s Bakery was using bottled water to brew coffee and bringing in bags of ice.
Rock Hill officials say it’s ok to shower, but they suggest boiling water and letting it cool before you wash your hands or cook and don’t use the dishwasher, ice maker or coffee maker.
“This is the first time this has happened in the City of Rock Hill’s history and we don’t want a second,” Mayor Gettys said.
FOX 46 asked the city if they can ensure this won’t happen again with the aging pipes. The short answer is there are no guarantees, but they’re spending millions of dollars every year to identify and replace the pipes. The city estimates that the break cost them $40,000 in revenue.
In their 9 p,m. update, city officials continued to advise that residents use boiled or bottled water “for drinking, food preparation, hand washing and teeth brushing.”
They say if you still have no water, low pressure, or cloudy water, call your local utility provider or call the city at 803-329-5500.