Elizabeth City urging residents to limit water use

Elizabeth City is taking a big hit from the cold weather.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WVEC) -- Residents in Elizabeth City are taking a hit from the cold weather.
    
City officials are urging people to limit water use after pipes across the city started freezing and breaking.
    
The city said it's losing more water than it can produce and crews are racing to get it patched up.

Richard Olson, the City Manager, has had to keep an eye on the situation as the days pass.

"Today, we canvassed roughly 1,600 homes and we found 32 water leaks in those homes that most people were not aware of," he said.

That's just in those inspected homes alone. The city has about 6,000 water customers and all will be inspected in the next day or two.

Olson said most of the problems have been in older homes, or unoccupied houses.

They've also had water-related issues at the two colleges in town: Elizabeth City State University and College of the Albemarle.

"We're just asking everybody to conserve water. If you can avoid washing a few loads of clothes, the next few days, please do that." he said.

After doing the math, Olson predicted the city is losing about a million gallons of water per day because of the breaks.

"If you're losing a million gallons of water a day through a large break, that's basically maybe 12 Olympic size pools," said Olson.

Crews will be working the next few days to canvas more homes, check pipes, and get water running again. They'll also work to replenish the water supply.

"We're hoping to, tonight, reverse that trend and tomorrow after completely canvassing the community, we'll have a better understanding of where we stand," he said.

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