The Westerly Water Department has issued a boil water notice to its customers because E. coli bacteria was found in the water supply. Westerly Water Department 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 Westerly Water Department 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.
The Westerly Water Department sells water to customers throughout the Town of Westerly and to customers in Pawcatuck, Connecticut. E. Coli was detected in a routine sample taken on 11/13/17. Repeat samples taken on 11/14/17 were absent of coliform in the distribution system, but E. Coli was present in one of the wells (Bradford Well #2). As a result, the Westerly Water Department is instituting this boil water order. Samples will be collected throughout the distribution system on Thursday 11/16/17 to determine whether or not the contamination has spread within the system. Sample results will not be available until Friday. Continual testing will be done until the system is cleared for human consumption and the boil water notice can be lifted. People with questions should call the Westerly Water Department at 401-348-2561.
Areas in Pawcatuck, Connecticut not affected by this boil water notice would be customers not billed by the Westerly Water Department. These areas are:
• South of Rt. 1 in Ct.beyond Greenhaven Road • North of Rt. 2 in Ct. beyond 300 feet past Route 617 • North of Rt. 49 in Ct. beyond Stop and Shop Shopping Plaza • West of Peqqot Trail in Ct. (Rt. 234) beyond Billings Street • South of River Rd. in Ct. beyond 200 feet beyond Crestview Avenue • Elm Ridge Rd. in Ct. beyond Fairview Avenue