Water Shortage in Orange County

November 5, 2018

Statement from UNC Medical Center

Due to the OWASA water main break in Chapel Hill, the UNC Medical Center is currently operating under established contingency plans for this type of scenario. 

UNC Medical Center is temporarily suspending elective surgeries due to the water shortage.  Additionally, we are not accepting transfer patients. Trauma patients are currently being redirected to other facilities in the area.

The facility is bringing in bottled water for use by patients and staff.  We are directing, patients, guests, and employees at UNC Medical Center and our outpatient clinics served by OWASA not to drink tap water or use it for hygiene.

Until further notice, Medical Center staff are directed to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer to perform hand hygiene and continue to conserve water for direct patient care.  

We are already receiving water shipments for situations where water is needed for hand hygiene, and we also are working to acquire as many portable handwashing stations as possible.  

VISITORS:  Members of the Chapel Hill community should not come to the hospital to use toilet facilities there. They are closed to the public temporarily. Routine visitation is discouraged during this period. Visitation with Medical Center patients will be limited until full water service is restored.  

Further details will be provided as they become available.

Additional informational resources

  • Alert Carolina: alertcarolina.unc.edu
  • University: www.unc.edu, amplified via official social media accounts including @UNC, @Alert_UNCCH (for parents, family, Chapel Hill residents and friends) and @UNC_HR on Twitter.
  • OWASA: www.owasa.org  
  • Adverse Weather and Emergency Phone Line: (919) 843-1234. You may call this number to hear recorded announcements about campus operations.
  • UNC Transportation and Parking: For information including parking lot conditions and the status of Point-to-Point shuttle operations. Refer to www.move.unc.edu.