Simple Typo Causes Trouble for North Carolina City

Have you ever made a typo? After all, nobody’s perfect. Most people make a mistake at some point in their careers without serious consequences. But errors at water and wastewater facilities can have particularly far-reaching effects.

A simple typo in a North Carolina plant recently left more than 80,000 residents without water for more than 24 hours. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of vigilance in water and wastewater management.

An operator in the Orange County plant accidentally typed “80%” instead of “8%” when directing the fluoride pump chemical feed, which fed an erroneous amount of fluoride into the community’s water supply for three hours.

When the error was noticed and corrected, citizens were informed and drew water from a nearby city for the rest of the day. Fortunately, no one was at risk of increased fluoride exposure (which can have dangerous and even deadly effects).

While this situation is extreme, it does serve as a reminder of just how delicate a town’s water supply is. Balancing chemical levels in water requires surgical precision. One typo is all it takes to create an emergency.

PeopleService team members understand this and are aware of how much depends on them to properly fulfill their duties. We will be there for your community in the event of any issues and challenges, double- and triple-checking our work to ensure the safety of your residents.