The Quonochontaug East Beach Water Association has issued a boil water notice to its customers because E. coli bacteria was found in the water supply. Quonochontaug East Beach Water Association customers should boil vigorously for at least one minute all water used for human consumption, including drinking and cooking. Alternatively, customers can use bottled water.
This health advisory will remain in effect until corrective actions are completed and satisfactory bacteria results are obtained. The Quonochontaug East Beach Water Association will issue a public notice when this requirement is lifted.
E. coli is bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term health effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They pose a special health risk for infants, young children, and people with severely compromised immune systems. EPA has set a drinking water standard for E. Coli to reduce the risk of these adverse health effects. Under this standard, drinking water must be free of these bacteria for water to be consumed from a system.
The recommendation to boil for one minute pertains to water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Infants and young children should not be bathed in this water because they may swallow it accidentally. Anyone else using this water for bathing or showering should be careful to avoid swallowing the water. Further guidance can be found online (see link below).
Quonochontaug East Beach Water Association serves approximately 112 homes and 200 customers. The neighboring Central Beach Fire District is not affected. E. Coli was detected in a routine sample taken at Quonochontaug East Beach's Well #1 on 1/23/18. This well has been turned off until it can be inspected and disinfected, and bacteria samples come back absent. Well #2, which is absent of bacteria, will supply the water system. The water system will be disinfected the night of 1/25/18 and flushed on 1/26/18. Residents should refer to the notice provided by the water system for further instructions and information relating to the disinfection of the water lines. The boil notice will not be lifted until three consecutive days of samples are absent of bacteria and approved by RIDOH. People with questions should Ken Andrew at 860-377-6202.