Boil Order After E Coli Found In Water Supply

( A city in Florida has issued a boil water advisory for its citizens after a routine test discovered that there was E. coli present in two places of the city’s water supply.

All customers of City of Cape Coral Water Utility have been advised to boil their water before drinking it because of the presence of the intestinal bacteria in the water supply. WGCU, a radio station that serves the area, says this advisory will impact roughly 190,000 residents.

Authorities with the city said that residents either should boil water for more than one minute to kill any E. coli that might be present in the water. This is a necessary step they should take before consuming the water. Residents could alternatively just consume bottled water.

Earlier in the week, city officials said they had hoped to have the situation under control in a 72-hour period. They were flushing suspect plants as one possibly remedy, as well as increasing the usage of chlorine so the infection would be killed off.

In addition, local schools are getting deliveries of hand sanitizers and bottled water. Staff at the cafeterias are being told to “follow appropriate boil notice procedures to ensure food is safe for consumption,” the officials said.

The Department of Health and Human Services said that E. coli can ultimately cause diarrhea and sickness. The most extreme cases could result in kidney failure and even death.

Those who are most at risk of dangerous outcomes from E. coli are children or adults who have a weakened immune system.

After announcing the boil water advisory, the government of Cape Coral issued a statement that said:

“A citywide boil water notice has been issued, effective immediately for all City of Cape Coral Water Utility customers, due to E. coli bacteria present in two separate samples.

“We advise residents to boil water for one minute or used bottled water as a precaution until the advisory has been lifted. This notification applies to water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, washing dishes and brushing teeth.”

Essentially, any time that someone might consume water that is used, they should boil it before doing so. Even residue when washing dishes or glasses could cause serious consequences.

Some activities are not affected by the boil water notice, including taking a shower or washing clothes.

The Florida Department of Health said that the state averages 59 cases of E. colie in a year. Most people who are infected report that they either have no fever or a very mild one. That being said, it’s still a bacteria that health officials take seriously and want other people to as well.

Anna Yeung-Cheung, a professor at Manhattanville College in New York who is considered an expert in microbiology, said that it was essential that the health authorities took quick action in the case. She commented on finding the source of the E. coli infection:

“It can take years to do all the work that it takes to discover what it is. But, they really need to find it out.”