CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston Water System has implemented a ‘boil water notice’ for the Cainhoy area due to a water main break.

Approximately 1,600 customers are impacted by the notice, including those who live and work between Martins Point Drive and Highway 41 bridge.

Charleston Water System said the water main break occurred at Martins Creek.

“The notice will remain in effect until water samples confirm the water is safe to drink. CWS will collect water quality samples to be taken to the utility’s laboratory at the Hanahan Water Treatment Plant in Hanahan,” officials said.

Leaders say it will take 16 hours from the point when the lab finalizes its protocols until the test results are available. “If no bacteria are present within the samples, the advisory will be lifted,” they said.

Customers who may experience discolored water can clear it by running their cold taps for up to five minutes to clear it up.  If it doesn’t clear up, simply call CWS Customer Service at (843) 727-6800.

While this notice is in effect, customers are required to:

• Boil tap water vigorously for at least one minute and then let it cool before using it for cooking, drinking, making ice, washing uncooked foods, brushing teeth, and giving to pets.

The minute starts once the water comes to a rolling boil.

• Children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are most likely to become sick if bacteria is present in the water.

• Water filters may not protect against bacteria. Check with the manufacturer, and if in doubt, boil your water.

• Throw away ice made during this advisory.

• Dishwashers and coffee makers do not get hot enough to kill bacteria.

• Tap water is safe to use for all other activities that do not include consumption.

For restaurants and food service establishments SCDHEC requires:

• If you cannot boil water and there is no other option, you MUST stop food service activities until the water is declared safe.

• Stop using appliances and equipment that use drinkable water including dish machines, ice machines, fountainheads, drinking fountains, tea brewers and coffee makers

• Use disposable paper, plastic or foam places, cups, forks, etc.

• Prepare food using water that has been boiled.

• Wash hands with water that has been boiled and cooled.

• Wash, rinse and sanitize pots, pans and other equipment with water that has been boiled and cooled.