ORANGE COUNTY AGENCIES SEEK FEEDBACK ON RESPONSE TO THE WATER INTERRUPTION INCIDENT IN FEBRUARY

ORANGE COUNTY, NC (June 16, 2017) — Orange County and other agencies are seeking feedback from residents, businesses and visitors, on the response to the Water Interruption Incident from February 3-4, 2017 which affected OWASA customers and the greater Orange County community.

Citizens are invited to participate in an on-line survey which will be available from June 16 to June 30 at https://goo.gl/1ZwDbn .

The survey is anonymous. Data will be compiled to assist Orange County, the Towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA), and other partners in improving community resiliency and response to emergencies.

Background:

For about 26 hours on February 3rd and 4th, the Orange County Health Department and OWASA directed customers not to drink or otherwise use OWASA water. This directive was necessary due to a series of events that began with an on-site fluoride overfeed contained to the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant in Carrboro, requiring OWASA to close the plant and obtain water from neighboring communities. A subsequent break in a large water line in east Chapel Hill threatened the community’s water supply and required the directive.

Numerous agencies activated their emergency response plans to support the community during the water outage.

When the water outage ended on February 4th, a multi-agency group formed to do the After Action Review (AAR) of the incident. The group determined that hiring an outside consultant would best ensure a comprehensive AAR and Improvement Plan. Crisis Focus, LLC was selected as the consultant.

The AAR and Improvement Plan (IP) development will follow Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Process standards and best practices. The AAR/IP will not analyze factors or assess actions that may have caused the incident, but rather the coordinated response afterward, including operational coordination, public information and warning, planning, mass care services (water distribution) and community resilience.

For more information

Orange County Emergency Management: Kirby Saunders, Emergency Management Coordinator, 919-245-6135.