Concern about the safety of Westminster's water supply after the weekend's heavy rains prompted a warning yesterday for city residents to boil tap water used for drinking or cooking, and the county schools superintendent ordered the closing of some Westminster-area public schools for today.
The heavy rainfall caused high turbidity, or cloudiness, which was discovered by county water officials, Westminster Mayor Thomas K. Ferguson said last night.
The Carroll County Health Department reported its findings to the Maryland Department of the Environment, which advised officials to issue the advisory late yesterday afternoon to boil tap water.
"Our technicians are confident that there's nothing wrong with the water," Ferguson said. "But because of the guidance given by the Maryland Department of the Environment, we had to put out the boil alert.
"It doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with the water," the mayor said. "And if you think about it, boiling water for one minute is not the regimen you'd follow if your water is contaminated."
Classes at the following schools were canceled for today: Carroll County Career and Technology Center, Cranberry Station Elementary, Carroll Springs School, East Middle School, Gateway School, Friendship Valley Elementary, Robert Moton Elementary, West Middle School, Westminster Elementary, Westminster High School, William Winchester Elementary and Winters Mill High School, according to Carroll schools Superintendent Charles I. Ecker.
Ecker said school employees, including teachers, are to report to work. He expects the approximately 8,000 students affected by the closings to resume classes tomorrow.
Sun reporter Gina Davis contributed to this article.