WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A broken water main near the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant Friday left much of New Hanover County under instructions to boil water and mandatory restrictions on non-essential use, but someone forgot to turn off the sprinklers. Friday afternoon sprinklers in newly constructed medians along several blocks of Front Street in downtown Wilmington continued to flow.
We called a city spokesperson for comment, but as of late Friday night, our call had not been returned.
The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority estimated Friday afternoon that at least 2-3 million gallons of water had been lost to the spill. So much water was lost that two water tanks, one at 9th and Dawson Streets and the other at 17th Street and Shipyard Blvd., were empty.
The loss of water left firefighters in Wilmington and New Hanover County trying to figure out how they would get enough water after the CFPUA said there may not be enough to fight a large fire from hydrants. Pender County stood ready to help with water, and Wilmington's fire boat was moved to the Cape Fear River to help pull water if needed.