M’boro eateries forced to closed

Published 9:54 am Saturday, November 6, 2010


MURFREESBORO, N.C. – Do not drink the water!

A situation with the Town of Murfreesboro’s water system, discovered Thursday, has led the Hertford County Public Health Authority to advise all those connected to the system to boil the water prior to use for human consumption, or use bottled water.

Additionally, the Health Authority, acting under General State Statutes, has ordered the closure of all Murfreesboro eating establishments until further notice. Those restaurants were notified late Friday afternoon.

The problem apparently lies with the discovery of fecal coliform bacteria in the water.

“The presence of fecal coliform bacteria in a water supply serving a community is an imminent hazard and can cause illness,” stated Diane McLawhorn, Interim Co-Health Director for Hertford County. “Under N.C. General Statue 130A-2 (3) life, an immediate threat of serious physical injury, an immediate threat of serious adverse health effects, or a serious risk of irreparable damage to the environment if no immediate action is taken.”

In order to comply with this immediate action residents of Murfreesboro are asked to not drink the water without boiling it first. This action must be taken to protect the residents of Murfreesboro from the imminent hazard proposed by the contaminated water.

McLawhorn further stated that this notification is given in conjunction with the immediate suspension of all food establishment permits in Murfreesboro. Therefore all food establishments are currently closed in Murfreesboro until further notice. Hertford County Public Health Authority officials will notify food establishments as soon as the water samples are no longer positive for fecal bacteria.

Residents are being asked to do the following:

■ Do not drink the water without boiling it first.

■ Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water.

■ Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing clothes and food preparation until further notice.

Upon the State’s approval, the Town of Murfreesboro will inform the residents when tests show no bacteria and no longer needed to boil water.

For more information please contact Ed Evans, Environmental Specialist at the Hertford County Public Health Authority, at 358-7833.

Early Thursday evening, Murfreesboro Town Administrator Lee Capps confirmed that routine tests performed on the water system yielded a possible problem. He added that Murfreesboro officials were made aware of the situation at 4:45 p.m. Thursday.

“We were advised by DENR (North Carolina Division of Environment and Natural Resources) to put a boil water advisory in place until we receive confirmation of additional testing results,” Capps said.

According to Capps, follow-up tests were taken at 12 different sites, up line and down line from the plant.