Businesses maneuvered around the boil water advisory that hit Waynesboro, Georgia later Tuesday night. We do know that the water line was compromised from a contractor installing a fiber optic line. But officials with the city tell us this was not a city contractor. And we are still working to find out more details about the work that was being done.
The boil water advisory continues for almost 24 hours after it started. And that means a few local businesses had to get creative.
Dinning at Good Day Cafe was nothing short of picnic style in the wake of the boil water advisory.
Good Day Cafe General Manager Dana Key described the restaurants new materials to us.
“Bottled water, canned sodas, paper plates, paper goods.”
She added getting those items was not hard.
“Actually, our owner is from Sylvania and about 2/3 of our staff live in the Screven County area,” Key explained. “It’s on the way and we stopped at a grocery story on the way in a picked some things up.”
Down Lberty Street, Burke Perk also opened with similar disposable products, boiling water for meals. But around town, it was a toss up with places closing for the day or choosing to open with a limited supply. And for some caffeine lovers, that meant a day without coffee.
But Waynesboro’s Water Director JC Ellison said the major water line rupture could have contaminated water people would want to consume.
“Because we lost pressure in our system,” Ellison told us. “Anything below 20 pounds in the system, there is a possibility that things can be pulled into the system. Because of that we have to go with a boil water advisory.”
The city’s water will need to be tested for bacteria. Ellison said that process takes 24 hours. The state of Georgia will then have to lift the boil water advisory. But Key said Good Day Cafe can survive on a limited supply through the end of the week.
“We’re just lucky enough to have resources available in another city accessible to us immediately,” she said. “So, we are prepared to open all week. Our schedule is going to remain the same. Everybody is going to just eat on paper and hopefully everybody can just bear with that for just a couple of days.”
Ellison did not want to put a timeline on when water would be safe to consume again. But everyone is working to make sure that happens quickly.
The restaurants we spoke with plan to remain open with a limited supply. But it may be a good idea to call first before heading out.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps