****UPDATE: OWASA officials said just after 7:30 p.m. Monday that the leak had been stopped and that water storage was approaching normal levels. Officials are continuing to urge residents to use water wisely. Toilets can be flushed. Customers are asked to take short showers.****
Orange Water and Sewer Authority reported seeing some improvements Monday evening after a significant water main break forced closures and a boil water advisory across southern Orange County.
UNC – Chapel Hill moved to Condition 2 at 11:30 a.m. Monday, meaning classes were canceled and all non-mandatory operations were suspended. The university said at roughly 5:30 p.m. Monday that it would remain under Condition 2 until at least 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The university said in a message to the campus community earlier in the day that anyone who was able to leave campus was encouraged to do so.
Tuesday was already a teacher workday across the Chapel Hill – Carrboro City School district, which was also forced to close early Monday due to the break.
OWASA officials said Monday evening that water storage was improving, but the utility encouraged customers to conserve water “until further notice.” That includes only using water for essential uses. Hillsborough was sending water from the town’s water supply to aid OWASA on Monday afternoon.
OWASA is testing water samples for any harmful side effects of the break and is expecting to have results Tuesday evening.
Crews isolated the initial water main break on Jones Ferry Road around 3 p.m. Monday. A secondary water line break occurred at about 4 p.m., officials said. But that was affecting a small number of customers who had been notified by OWASA.
The OWASA administrative office is a voting precinct and county election officials said the break will not impact any voting locations across the county with Election Day on Tuesday. Those who vote at that precinct will need to access the OWASA administrative office from Highway 54. A portion of Jones Ferry Road remains closed following the water main break.
Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and will close at 7:30 p.m. Any voter in line at 7:30 p.m. will be allowed to vote.