(DAPHNE, Ala.) - Daphne East Elementary and Daphne Middle School will be closed Friday due to water contamination in the neighborhood.
The water provider servicing the area announced the issues Wednesday and is working on fixing the problem.
The school system says no water had been contaminated at the schools, but they were closed Thursday as a precaution. The schools are expected to re-open Monday.
(BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala.) - Thousands are still being asked to boil their water in the Daphne area. Belforest Water says the Baldwin County Sewer System accidentally connected a sewer line from a house to a water line on Rigsby Road. The problem was discovered Wednesday afternoon. Since then, crews have been working around the clock to fix the problem.
Belforest Water continues to flush out the system by running water out of fire hydrants along Highway 181. It will do so until test results show the water is not contaminated. Samples taken Thursday morning should be back Friday afternoon.
While it's a headache for homeowners to boil their water, it's an even bigger headache for local businesses that had to shut down because the water supply may not be safe.
"It's a huge impact for us," said Kravers restaurant manager Luann Crawford. "We've seen a lot of traffic coming our way because they're our regular customers who eat here every day. And so they've pulled up and seen the sign that we're closed until the water is safe. And it's sad to turn them away."
Crawford says shutting down for two days will mean thousands in lost revenue, and the timing for workers just before the holidays could not be worse. Crawford says servers will lose hundreds of dollars.
Homeowners, like Nancy Morse, had to stay in a hotel Wednesday night because the water was cut off to their home. By Thursday morning, it was back on, but she's not drinking it. Instead, she's using the bottled water the Baldwin County Sewer System left on her door step.
"They were very nice about it and seemed to be handling it all and working as hard as they could," said Morse.
Two day cares and two public schools, Daphne East and Daphne Middle school, also had to be closed Thursday and will again be closed on Friday.
"We feel confident that schools will be back open on Monday, according to the information we received from the water authority. They immediately flushed lines. We're just waiting on confirmation," said Baldwin County Public School spokesperson Terry Wilhite.
Wilhite says the two days missed will have to be made up later in the year.
Health officials are also closely monitoring the possible contamination to see if it's making people sick. The Baldwin County Health Department says it is already receiving calls from area doctors about illnesses that could be related to contaminated water.
"We are working with the health care providers, again with a surveillance system to see if there's an increase," said Baldwin County Health Department public information officer Kimberly Taylor.
Local 15 News called the Baldwin County Sewer System for comment did not hear back. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management says it fined the sewer company $100,000 in 2007 for a similar incident and fines could very well be possible in this case.