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Boil water advisory lifted in north Forsyth

NORTH FORSYTH — The boil water advisory for an area of north Forsyth has expired.

Tim Perkins, director of the county’s water and sewer department, said the alert was issued as a preventive measure.

“We’ve got guidelines that the state gives us when this happens, and out of precaution we’re asked to give these advisories out,” Perkins said. “We’ve never had a problem after a leak like this of any kind, but we have to test the water before we can say that it’s safe to drink.

“It’s not that we know there’s a problem. It’s a situation that occurred that could have created a problem, and therefore we test it and makes sure the water is clean before we can lift the advisory.”

The advisory was put into place after a fire hydrant was damaged in northwest Forsyth. Several residents reported a lack of water pressure.

According to information released from the water department, the affected area covered about a two-mile radius around Mockingbird and Bannister Roads.

“Sometime … between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., apparently a vehicle or something struck a fire hydrant off of Mockingbird Road, and caused a water main break,” Perkins said. “When that happened, we started receiving low pressure, and in some places zero, pressure from some customers.”

The department then used an automated phone calling system to alert area residents, advising them to boil their drinking and cooking water for the next 48 hours.  

According to Perkins, it was the 911 center handled the call process.

“That’s just one of the tools we use, but we’re not in charge of that, the 911 center is,” he said. “From some sort of mapping system they determined this two-mile radius. And it depends on where you put you point down on the map. Your two-mile radius and my two-mile radius might not be the same. ”

Perkins acknowledged the county has heard from some residents living in and around the affected area who did not receive notification.

“We have discussed it with the 911 center, and I think they’re going to look into it and see if they can determine if there’s any reason they didn’t receive the call,” he said. “It could be an addressing issue. It could be that they’re right on the fringe.”

The recent trend of doing away with landline phones, along with inactive numbers, also may have been a factor.

“A lot of people have done away with their home phones, so 911 doesn’t know where they live,” Perkins said. So it’s really important for the public to register their cellphones with their addresses, so they can have those numbers.”

Perkins said the advisory was intended as a precaution, and that other areas may not have even conducted one.

“We err on the side of precaution,” he said. “A lot of places probably wouldn’t have even have done this, but the way we read the rules, we’re asked to give out a public notice until we can test the water.

Jodi Gardner, a spokeswoman for the county government, has previously said the advisory is unrelated to the manganese that had been causing water in much of Forsyth to have a yellowish tint last week.