Though drinking water quality never suffered during Hurricane Irma’s floods Monday, water utilities dealt with the usual stress of a hurricane’s aftermath Tuesday as they returned to business-as-usual and asked for the public’s help in small ways moving forward.
Both local water systems said damage from the storm was minimal.
Mike Saia, spokesman for the Charleston Water System, said water quality never deteriorated in the system. The same was true for Mount Pleasant Waterworks. No boil advisory was issued at either utility.
“I would say that overall our entire water system fared extremely well in the storm,” Saia said.
Saia said crews were out Tuesday addressing water main breaks. When there is bad flooding, he said the ground can become soft and the mains can shift and leak.
Clay Duffie, general manager of Mount Pleasant Waterworks, said all of their plants were without power Monday. They operated on generators, however, and water quality was never an issue.
“Everybody had good, safe, clean water throughout the storm,” Duffie said.
Mount Pleasant Waterworks had about 15 essential personnel working into the night on Monday. They hooked pump stations in the area to generators. There was high water in the stations, Duffie said, but none had been seriously damaged.
“It was a lot more than what everybody expected, but we were prepared,” Duffie said.
Both systems were concerned about debris in the days to come. Residents should be careful not to pile debris on water meters, valves or fire hydrants. In the aftermath of hurricanes, the experts said equipment covered by debris is often damaged as trash is moved from people’s yards.
Saia and Duffie said debris was their top concern. The damage wasn’t apparent yet, but they said people should be careful to keep their equipment clear through cleanup.
Normal operations resume for the Charleston Water System on Wednesday. In the meantime, customers can call (843) 727-6800 with emergencies.