© 2022 Blue Ridge Public Radio
Main Banner Background
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Discolored Water Could Remain In Parts Of Asheville For Rest Of The Week

Matt Bush
Blue Ridge Public Radio
Asheville city manager Debra Campbell speaks at a Tuesday press conference. Behind her are mayor Esther Manheimer (left) and assistant city manager Cathy Ball (right)

Two areas of Asheville remained under a boil water advisory Tuesday afternoon due to a water line break in the River Arts District the day before.  Other parts of the city are still seeing brown and discolored water, something that could last for the rest of this week.  Meanwhile city leaders are apologizing for a lack of clear communication about which neighborhoods were under boil water advisories and for how long.

Residents who live on Lyman Street from 304 Lyman to Riverside Drive and those who live on Warren Wilson Road from US 70 to College View Drive should boil their water for at least one minute before consuming it says assistant city manager Cathy Ball, who at a Tuesday afternoon press conference stated all other boil water advisories in the city had been lifted.  There’s also been brown or discolored water pouring out of many a faucet in Asheville since last Friday, and that’s due to repairs to a water line that allowed sediment to seep in according to Ball.  “Based on the calls we’re receiving, it appears that about five-percent of our customers are still receiving discolored water," Ball said Tuesday afternoon.  "We anticipate that all of our systems should be back to normal by Friday.”

Residents are urged to flush their lines if they see brown or discolored water by running water for five to ten minutes before using it.  Tests according to the city have shown the discolored water remains safe to drink, as no bacteria has been detected according to water resources director David Melton.  “With the bacteriological tests and disinfection monitoring that came back, we can clearly say the water is free from bacteria," Melton said at Tuesday afternoon's press conference.  "But the clearness of it is not what people expect, and is maybe not desirable to them.”  He added the city will try to adjust bills for customers who see higher bills due to the flushing.

City leaders also admitted their communication the past few days to the public about the water issues was not up to par, as there was confusion over which parts of the city were under a boil water advisory and for how long.  "We are acknowledging that there were numerous things that happened simultaneously (that) we should have done a better job of communicating," said city manager Debra Campbell.  "We are going to do a better job communicating."

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.