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Water pressure returns in Greene County, but E. coli still a risk

Water pressure has returned for Greene County residents, but a “boil water” advisory remains in effect as the risk of E. coli has not gone away.

Residents who get their drinking water from the Mountain Lakes Water Company were informed a little more than a week ago that there had been a service disruption on or about Nov. 12 and customers would be without water pressure for some time. The service disruption was the result of what’s been described as significant water leaks.

The loss of water pressure, which wasn’t reported to the Virginia Department of Health until the next day, meant E. coli may have been able to infiltrate the water supply through the distribution system.

The service disruption specifically affected the Twin Lakes and Greene Mountain Lake corners of the county.

Residents there have reported water pressure has returned. Nevertheless, the county and Mountain Lakes Water Company have encouraged those same residents to continue to boil their water before consumption.

“The initial set of samples needed to detect certain bacteria after an event like this week has been collected under the supervision of the VDH Office of Drinking Water. Those samples were sent to a local lab,” Greene County said in a statement. “Due to various factors we do not have a definitive timeline on the results of those samples.”

The county said that some residents may spot sediment in their water, but it is not harmful.

“This is due to increased flushing through the water system and is not harmful, although water still needs to be boiled before being used,” the county said.

Running an outside faucet until the water is clear should clean up any sediment.

In the meantime, the county has provided safety tips for those who still cannot drink their tap water:

Do not use water from any appliance connected to a water line, such as ice makers and water from the refrigerator.

Do not swallow any water when bathing or showering.

Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider a sponge bath.

Brush teeth only with boiled or bottled water.

The Greene County Office of Emergency Services has been reaching out to customers of Mountain Lakes Water Company, offering showers at the field house behind William Monroe High School.


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