On Friday, many Bluefield residents and businesses woke up to tap water tinged with yellow sediment. A water main addition to the Bluefield water district shifted the velocity and direction of water in existing pipes, bringing up sediment and mineral deposits within the pipes.
Some reported discolored water as early as 5 AM. By mid morning, reports were already starting to come into both the City of Bluefield and the West Virginia American Water Company. By 4:30 PM, the West Virginia Water Company deemed the reports extensive enough to issue a boil water advisory.
The advisory, under West Virginia regulations, had to last until the water had been sampled and cleared for bacteria after a 24 hour window. Laura Martin, a spokesperson for the company, told WVVA news that 8 samples had been taken throughout the water system on Saturday. This buffer window delayed the lifting of the advisory until Sunday Afternoon.
Some communities within Bland and Tazewell County, including Bluefield, VA, buy water from the Bluefield District as well. These areas had the boil water advisory lifted today to comply with Virginia's stricter regulations.
Local businesses were affected by the water. Blue Spoon owner Nicole Coburn told us that she had to "buy extra water, we had to buy new ice, turn the ice machine off, do some things like that".