The Town of Wytheville expects a boil water notice issued Tuesday for the southern part of town to be lifted this afternoon. Because of the alert, Wythe County Public School closed town school, asking students and teachers to stay home.

Officials are advising residents in the affected area to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking as a safety precaution. The precaution is necessary because water pipelines at various locations within the problem area went dry during recent repairs.

Town Manager Wayne Sutherland said that the notice is related to a water line break in the area of West Spiller and 8th streets Thursday. The line split again Monday afternoon and crews repaired it again. Sutherland said the town notified the Virginia Health Department about the issue Monday, but that Monday was Columbus Day, a holiday for state employees. On Tuesday, the health department notified the town that because of the water line breaks, a boil notice had to be issued until the water passes a certain number of tests for bacteria.

Sutherland said the town has tested the water throughout the repair process and it passed every test, but that the boil notice is still required.

“There have been no problems with what we tested,” he said.

The portion of town affected by the boil notice are homes and businesses supplied by the Pine Ridge water tanks, mostly south of West Ridge Road. Areas affected include East and West Pine, East and West Spiller, West Reservoir, West Lee Highway, East and West Monroe, East and West main, East and West Spring, East and West Franklin, East and West Washington, West Union, East and West Jefferson, East and West Lexington, East and West Marshall, Lewis, East and West Railroad, South Fourth, Country Club Estates, US South 21, West Jackson bordered by Grayson Road and Chapman Road at the Town of Wytheville Waterworks and areas south of Pine Ridge.

Some businesses in the area are affected, especially restaurants, which cannot serve fountain drinks or use ice machines. An employee at Grayson Restaurant said the staff there quickly adapted, purchasing ice and water.

This is the first boil notice for the town, Sutherland said, adding that the town is initiating some pipeline improvements later this week that should prevent such notices in the future.

To reach reporter Millie Rothrock, call 276-228-6611, ext. 35, or email mrothrock@wythenews.com

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