Boil water advisory issued for Coosaw Island and surrounding areas (update: lifted)

Flickr user ilmungo

Update December 31: The water samples have returned and the advisory has been lifted.

Tests now show that the drinking water in thearea is free from all harmful bacteria.

First reporting December 30: Officials of Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority (BJWSA) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control are advising residents on Coosaw Island, Judge Island and areas along Sams Point Rd from Lucy Creek Rd to Coosaw Island to boil their water before using for drinking, cooking or dishwashing.

The advisory area includes Token Lane, Honeysuckle Road, Tuxedo Drive, Lucy Creek Farm Road, Lucy Creek Drive and Coosaw Point.

Officials said they expect the advisory to end sometime on Friday.

The advisory is being issued because of an accident Wednesday around 1:30 PM, when a cement truck overturned onto a fire hydrant. The main water line serving the area had to be shutdown to repair the damage and crews were able to restore service late Wednesday.

SC DHEC requires that water utilities issue a boil water advisory when such an event occurs that allows the possibility for bacteria to enter the public water system.  Such an event may include a loss of water pressure, which could allow bacteria in soil and groundwater to enter water pipes through cracks or leaks. A drop in pressure could also cause backflow, which is best defined by the example of a garden hose in a bucket of dirty water “sucking” that water back into the public water system when the water pressure drops, although backflow prevention valves make this unlikely.

Residents and businesses in the affected area are urged to use boiled or bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, preparing food, and giving to pets until further notice.  Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms that may be present in the water.  Some water filters do not protect against bacteria, so customers with filters are advised to contact the manufacturer for more information or boil their tap water.  The water is safe for bathing and doing laundry.

Residents are urged to tell their neighbors about this situation who may not receive this message. Information can also be found at

 For further information, residents can contact BJWSA at 843-987-9200.

How to purify water

If water does not appear to be clear, strain through a clean cloth into a container to remove any sediment or floating matter.  If water is clear, omit this step.

Disinfection by heat:

  • Boil the water vigorously for at least one minute.
  • After allowing the water to cool, it is ready to use.  If desired, a pinch of salt added to each quart of water or pouring it back and forth from one clean container to another several times will improve the taste
  • Chemical disinfection

    Use common liquid chlorine laundry bleach.  Read the label to find the percentage of available chlorine and then follow the table below:

    Drops to be added per quart of water for
    Clean Water
    Drops to be added per
    Quart of water for
    Cloudy Water
    4 to 6 %



    7 to 10%







  • Mix thoroughly by stirring or shaking water in container.
  • Let stand for 30 minutes.
  • A slight chlorine odor should be detectable in the water.  If not, repeat the dosage and let stand an additional 15 minutes before using.
  • Water is now safe for use.
  • Filed in