Updated Thursday, June 17, 2021
The City of Lewisburg announced early Tuesday morning that municipal water customers were placed under a boil water advisory. This affects the Lewisburg, Renick, and Ronceverte areas. White Sulphur Springs and Alderson were not affected.
The notice stated that the entire water system was affected, and instructed customers to boil water used for drinking, preparing food, beverages, ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, and brushing teeth. Another notice released later in the day provided more details as to what triggered the precaution.
“Severe flooding created conditions beyond the capabilities of the water plant’s facilities, causing high turbidity to enter the system. Plant employees are working diligently to correct the problem and are striving to find solutions that will prevent this from reoccurring,” reads the secondary notice.
Turbidity is measure of the clarity of a liquid, so a liquid with high turbidity means the fluid is cloudy or hazy, or in the case of our local river, muddy.
Lewisburg City Manager Misty Hill says that crews are working diligently to lift the advisory, but that can take some time.
“We have to be in compliance for a minimum of 12 hours before we can test out the water and potentially lift the boil water advisory,” she said. Essentially, the levels of sediment in the water need to go down before the plant can pump water compliant enough to be tested for safety.
Councilmember Sarah Elkins adds that the State Health Department believes the advisory could be lifted by Sunday, but it could continue as late as next Wednesday.
“The City of Lewisburg has an extremely outdated water plant,” said Elkins. “We desperately need a new one. We have had the funds to move forward with a new plant for as long as I’ve been on council (2 years) and longer. We are unable to move forward with this plant until we receive 80% of the property easements necessary. Simply put, people will not grant the easements. These are your neighbors. These are people we all know and like. The city will eventually have to proceed with eminent domain. No one wants that. The city cannot prosper or grow without water. Period.”
The City of Lewisburg provided further details on Thursday morning with a post stating, “The City water system has been in compliance for several hours. Crews have started flushing the water system. The next step toward being able to lift the Boil Water Advisory is the requirement that ten samples of the water be submitted to the State Health Department.”
Also on Thursday morning, a water tank was delivered to Fire Station 2, the firehouse located north of town on 219, to provide potable water to residents. Hill notes that the available water will be divvied out amongst customers. The tanker is self-serve, and it’s required that you bring your own container.
To receive important notices through the text emergency alert system Nixle, simply text your zip code to 888777, or go to www.greenbriercountyhsem.org/ and sign up via the Nixle Widget.