ROCK HILL, S.C. - Authorities are continuing to ask residents to boil their water through at least Friday following a massive water main break Wednesday in Rock Hill.
A 20-inch water main break at the Rock Hill water filter plant on Cherry Road left about 125,000 residents in York County without water and forced businesses and schools to shut down for the day. All Fort Mill and Rock Hill schools will also remain closed on Thursday, according to city officials.
The broken pipe was repaired at about 1 a.m. Thursday with the water plant coming fully online by 3 a.m. after crews were able to expose the broken pipe and make the necessary repairs.
York County customers should start seeing water service restored, although will experience very low water pressure at first. Throughout the day, as more water is produced to fill the distribution system, pressure will increase. Field crews plan to flush hydrants throughout the day to remove air and any sediment that settled from the lines.
"We’ll likely start filling elevated water tanks early this afternoon. We’ll take samples throughout the system to monitor water quality, but since full results won’t be complete until tomorrow, the boil water advisory remains in effect through Friday, October 11, and may be extended depending on test results," officials with the city said.
Video from Wednesday shows water flowing down the road. Several businesses along the road were inaccessible and left without water, so they had to shut down.
Rock Hill and Fort Mill schools announced that they would be closed on Thursday, Oct. 10 due to issues caused by the break, and Fort Mill Parks and Recreation has already said activities are canceled.
York County and municipal water customers were asked to reduce water use as much as possible while officials worked to fix the break. Some residents may have experienced low water pressure or had no water during this time, according to the city.
Fort Mill officials also notified residents of the incident as their water is supplied by the city of Rock Hill. Fort Mill residents may have also experienced lower than normal water pressure.
The boil water advisory remains in effect until further notice. Click here for instructions on purifying water by boiling.
The City of Rock Hill said late Wednesday evening that the pipe that broke was one of several that feed water from the water plant into the distribution system. They said because of the volume of water, the plant had to be shut down to stop the flow and allow crews to expose the broken portion.
Crews cut away at the ruptured section overnight and replaced it with a new piece.
Officials said field crews will be flushing hydrants to reduce the air in the lines and clear out sediment. Samples will be pulled from across the area, and the boil water advisory will be lifted once they deem chlorine levels to be safe.
Lanes of Cherry Road near Mt. Gallant Road southbound in the direction going toward Winthrop University are open. Officials expect to have one northbound lane traveling toward I-77 open shortly, as mud is cleaned from the roadway.