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‘Just in shock’: Atlanta area residents react to boil water advisory

Carol Yancey of Greater Atlanta had planned to spend a festive Christmas vacation with her extended family. , said it had canceled vacation plans.

Boiling water notices were issued last weekend and this week in Georgia’s metropolitan Atlanta counties, including Clayton, Butts, Forsythe, and parts of DeKalb, Harralson, and Monroe. , valves froze and many homes had little or no water pressure.

The Environmental Protection Agency previously said low water pressure could lead to water pollution.

“Now is the time to really get the community, the unity of the community,” said Yancey, a community activist. “We’re not waiting for elected officials. We’re trying to step up and do what we can. Find something and tell someone else.”

An undated stock image depicting a number of packed bottles of water.

Akedynamic/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Some Atlanta Subway residents affected by the boil advisory say they learned about the potentially contaminated water from friends and relatives, not from water officials. These residents helped each other through the ordeal, as many local government employees take time off during the holidays.

Forsyth County resident Kristen Frawley said she learned from a friend that the water was boiling the day after the county put out Christmas advisories on the water department’s website. I canceled the hot water recommendation.

“I was just shocked that I had to go to their website to find out about possible contaminants in our water,” Frawley said. They came out and said, ‘Hey, as we all know, this happened and you need to boil your water until further notice.

A spokeswoman for Butts, Forsyth and Harralson counties told ABC News that county agencies will notify residents through a combination of website warnings, social media posts and press releases via local radio and television. He said he does.

Local authorities have set up stations to distribute bottled water to residents for the time being. Forest Park Mayor Angeline Butler said Clayton County’s Forest Park had distributed more than 1,900 cases of bottled water as of Dec. 27, with one case per family. rice field.

“These details should be left to the Clayton County Water Department,” Butler said when asked when the water system would return to normal. I ask you to be very patient.”

Photo: A dripping faucet is pictured in this undated stock photo.

A dripping faucet is pictured in this undated stock photo.

Osakawayne Studio/Getty Images

Water officials in counties still affected told ABC News that boiling water notices should be lifted on Dec. 29 or 30, after test results are available.

The Clayton County Water Authority website instructs residents with little or no water pressure to call the phone number to notify the authorities. However, when ABC News attempted to call the number Wednesday night, it displayed an automated message that the service was experiencing system problems and could not process the call.

“I can imagine the influx of calls and inquiries at this time, but I haven’t heard anything,” Butler said when asked if Forest Park residents were complaining about not being able to reach Clayton. When he said: County Water Authority.

Bernard Franks, general manager of the Clayton County Water Department, did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

About 3,000 homes and businesses in Butts County experienced low water pressure, according to Alyssa Hopson, general manager of the Butts County Water Authority. Other water officials contacted by ABC News were unaware of the estimated number of homes affected.

The water in Forsyth County is likely uncontaminated, and the boiling water advisory was initiated out of caution.

Yancey, who does a lot of community work in Clayton County, believes about half of the people he comes into contact with in the county have water pressure problems.

Yancey’s house has normal water pressure, but a plumber had to tear down a wall in his neighbor’s house to repair a broken pipe and restore proper water pressure.

“Knowing that the infrastructure can shut you down is the county, shutting down the water system,” Yancy said. “I remember what happened in Mississippi earlier this year.”

Yancy refers to the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, earlier this year. In this crisis, 150,000 residents were stranded with polluted water, with little or no water running to their taps, after bad weather weakened water infrastructure. Jackson residents are now dealing with another hot water advisory due to sub-zero temperatures.

Despite the situation, residents of the Atlanta area say they can’t help but flinch.

“We’re just trying to make sure that we bring awareness to the community as a whole,” Yancey said. I am giving it away.”