The Central Beach Fire District in Charlestown has issued a boil water notice to its customers because E. coli bacteria was found in the water supply. The water system serves approximately 166 homes.
All water used for consumption is required to be boiled vigorously, for at least one minute. These recommendations pertain to water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation. Alternatively, customers can use bottled 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. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Additional guidance is available online. (See link below.)
Central Beach Fire District collected a sample from Well #2 on 8/15/2019 that was positive for E. coli bacteria. In addition, several samples collected in the distribution system were positive for total coliform bacteria (an indicator that disease-causing organisms such as E. coli could be present) on 8/13/2019 and 8/15/2019. Well #2 has been turned off until it can be inspected and disinfected and bacteria samples come back absent. Well #1, which is absent of E. coli bacteria but contains total coliform bacteria, will supply the water system. 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 water advisory will remain in effect until the water system investigates the source of the bacteria, completes corrective actions including disinfection of the water system, collects three consecutive days of absent bacteria samples, and RIDOH approves the boil advisory to be lifted.
The presence of E. coli bacteria indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal waste. 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. The 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.
A healthcare provider should be contacted if someone is on this water systems and has diarrhea and any of the following symptoms:
- Fever over 101.5° F, measured orally - Blood in the stool - Prolonged vomiting that prevents keeping liquids down (which can lead to dehydration) - Signs of dehydration, including a decrease in urination, a dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up - Diarrheal illness that lasts more than 3 days
Customers with questions should contact Vincent Reppucci at 646-355-8880.