CAMDEN — A split to a major transmission line along N.C. Highway 343 shut off water for hundreds of Camden County water customers for several hours on Wednesday before it was repaired and service was restored.

The waterline break also prompted Camden County officials to issue a boil water advisory for all county residents living south of Pond Road.

Pasquotank-Camden Emergency Management Coordinator Brian Parnell said the water line break happened just south of the Shiloh Fire Station between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Camden County Manager Ken Bowman said a four-foot section of the eight-inch water transmission line split on the bottom. He said it’s not clear what caused the pipe to split.

“It was just a freak accident,” Bowman said.

Camden public works employees quickly found the rupture and replaced the broken pipe, he said.

Water service was restored around 7 p.m. Wednesday. Bowman said many residents were at work in the afternoon and may not have discovered the disruption in their water service until they got home.

Chuck Jones, Camden’s public works manager, said between 400 and 600 customers were affected by the water shut-off. All customers south of Pond Road had their water shut off while the repairs were being made, he said.

Jones said Camden issued the boil water advisory because the state requires one anytime water pressure falls below 20 psi (pounds per square inch). The advisory warned Camden residents to boil for at least a minute all water used for brushing teeth, cooking, drinking, making ice or washing dishes.

After the broken pipe was replaced the line was flushed before service was restored, Jones explained.

The repair work was able to be completed by county staff.

“I did not have to bring in a contractor,” Jones said.