The Latest: Unclear When Boil-Water Advisory Will Lift

  • By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Oct 9, 2015, 12:35 PM ET

The latest on the rainstorm that pounded parts of the East Coast (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

While Columbia officials are confident they will not lose water service, they can’t say when most of the city’s 375,000 customers will be able to stop boiling water before they drink it.

Assistant City Manager Missy Gentry says Columbia is trucking in water and laying pipes from two nearby rivers to make sure water remains in the Columbia Canal, which is the chief source for drinking water.

An advisory telling people to boil water was issued during Sunday’s rainstorm, and Columbia Utilities Director Joey Jaco says he can’t say when that may be lifted. He says crews must finish repairing numerous breaks in the system first.

The advisory has left thousands scrambling for bottled water and businesses shut down. Restaurants that are open are serving meals off paper plates and drinks from cans.

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The largest hospital in Columbia shut down its water supply for 12 hours as it set up an alternative source of water.

Palmetto Health Richland Hospital shut down its water system at 6 p.m. Thursday, restoring service at 6 a.m. Friday.

Hospital officials said they acted because the city of Columbia does not know when it will be able to provide safe drinking water.

Hospital spokeswoman Tammie Epps says the U.S. Army has provided a reverse osmosis system to purify the water so it can be used. Epps says the system was flushed and cleaned during the 12-hour shutdown. She says the water from the Army system is being tested for 24 hours before it can be relied upon.

The hospital is continuing to use the un-filtered, city-provided water for its air conditioning and certain other equipment.

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Link to emergency filtration…

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