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Cloudy explanation for water problem


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Families and businesses in downtown Wilmington say something was in their water Thursday evening. Despite alerting the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority of the problem, they were given no explanation for the conditions.

Bill Barry says his toilet looked as though it hadn't been flushed, but when he tried himself, the water only got worse. The water from his sink also contained debris. Barry says he alerted the CFPUA and asked if they would put out a boil water advisory.

"And she responded, 'No, it just happened,' and they're basically not going to do that" Barry said. "And I said, 'Well, should I be using my water?' And she said, 'Absolutely not. You shouldn't be using your water.'"

A CFPUA spokesperson tells us the debris was calcium caused by an increase in pressure within the water line. The authority recommends customers run their lines until it is completely clear before drinking the water.

The CFPUA says it has no idea how many people were affected by the debris, but several of Barry's neighbors and the Pilot House restaurant also say they saw discoloration in their water. The CFPUA says crews are working to clear the lines and that the water is not contaminated.

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The CFPUA can not issue a

The CFPUA can not issue a boil water notice based on one person's complaint. They must investigate and then decide how to proceed. Obviously they investigated and decided it was just water discoloration which did NOT warrant a "boil water" notice. To issue these prematurely would cause undue stress on the public and perhaps encourage a numbness reaction when notices are put out. These notices are very serious and there are very specific guidlines for issuing them. The Authority has very specific procedures for investigating water complaints and these procedures are designed to protect the public health as well as undue interruption or hardship on the customer. Please understand that priority one for the CFPUA is the customers safety and satisfaction.


So since we have let these folks take over these Wilmington utilities what advantages, if any, have the citizens gained from it? Let me see, the billing is not only higher but it is erratic, failures to communicate properly with the customers is just unacceptable and there are also questionable salaries within the operation. Hmmmm..... sounds like a fishy situation. Maybe our local government should look into this? Oh that's right, that would be a conflict of interest because they are the ones who empowered them. Anyone know the phone number for my congressman?

Possible Explanations

1. Running the tap to clear the lines increases useage and billing fees.

2. Cloudy water communicates future water quality if rates aren't increased when requested.

3. Cloudy water communicates future water quality should any viewer post negative comments about the Authority.