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Thousands of people in South Carolina receive boil water warning

In South Carolina, nearly 10,000 water customers were asked to boil their water after a pipe burst.

The problem began at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday morning after a 20-inch water main broke near Highway 14 and Chandler Road in Greer, near Greenville. In response, the Greer Commission of Public Works (CPW) issued a boil water advisory, affecting 9,900 customers in the area.

The warning affects water customers in the Wade Hampton Boulevard area from Tryon Street to Highway 80 to Highway 290/Duncan and near Greer Golf. According to a map released by CPW, the warning includes homes and businesses around Greer Middle School, Wards Creek Park and Victor Mills.

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“We are working to fully restore water service, but as a precaution, we are recommending that our customers in these areas boil their water,” said Stephen Kennette, CPW water treatment plant manager. “If you have had low or no pressure, you should boil your water until sampling confirms the water is safe to drink.”

A stock photo of a pot of boiling water on a stove. The warning remains in place in South Carolina and will be lifted once testing confirms the water is safe to use as usual.

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The supplier said the recommendation to boil water was introduced as a “precautionary measure” because “low-pressure events, such as today's, could allow bacteria from soil and groundwater to enter water pipes through cracks or leaks.”

“After repairs are made, CPW will test drinking water to ensure no harmful bacteria are present,” the alert continues. “Results will be available 24 hours after repairs are completed and pipes flushed. Once it is confirmed that the water is safe, the cautionary alert will be lifted.”

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Some residents affected by the warning reported that they had no running water at all. “Low water pressure is an understatement,” wrote one X-user who used to use Twitter in response to the CPW's official account. “I have no water at all at my home.”

Newsweek CPW asked for a statement outside of normal business hours via the contact form on its website.

The company gave its last update at 10 p.m. ET, saying water service should be restored to customers in the area. “Crews have completed repairs and water should be restored to customers,” the company wrote on X. “If you are in the affected area, please boil your water for one minute before drinking or using it for cooking.”

Footage of the damaged water main was posted on social media. Local news station WYFF News 4 posted aerial footage of Highway 14 showing water pouring from a damaged section of the road as workers in high-visibility vests look on.

WSPA 7News reported that a portion of the highway between Wade Hampton Boulevard and Country Club Road remains closed following the incident. While the water main has since been repaired, Highway 14 remains partially closed as it requires resurfacing. According to CPW, motorists should avoid the affected area for the next two days while the work takes place.