Boil water notice caused by bacteria

Published 3:54 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Boil water notice

caused by bacteria

By Jeremy Weldon

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The boil water notice issued by the City of Batesville Friday afternoon and lifted Sunday about 2 p.m. was under the direction of the Mississippi State Department of Health after routine water sampling revealed unacceptable levels of E. coli and Total Coliform bacteria.

Public Works Director David Karr said Monday he believes the city’s water was safe all along, and that samples were contaminated by poor collection technique or a dirty collection container.

“The water is fine,” Karr said.

About 9,971 customers are served by the water system. When city officials received notice of the tests they worked quickly to spread the information to water customers through the use of mass emails and social media.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency sets drinking water standards and their approved tests found trace amounts of the dangerous bacteria. Common causes for the bacteria public drinking water is human and animal wastes, according to government released information.

Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term effects such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, and other symptoms. Young children and people with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable.

Boil water notices are not common, but not rare, in municipal water systems. Generally, the presence of these types of bacteria detected is caused by a problem with the treatment process or the pipes which distribute water around the city.

During boil water notices, customers are told to not drink tap water and to use vigorously boiled water to wash dishes, fruits and vegetables, and making tea and coffee. Hand washing, clothes washing, and bathing doesn’t have to be with boiled water.

When boil water notices are necessary, city workers began a multi-level process of adjusting treatment procedures, mostly adding extra chlorine to the water supply, which includes round-the-clock testing until the amount of bacteria in the water falls to acceptable standards.

After boil water notices are lifted, the state’s health department recommends running faucets for at least four minutes each and discarded any ice or drinks that were made with water during the affected period.

Dishwashers should also be run one cycle before being used again. Rewash any dishes or utensils that were washed during the notice time.