The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has issued a boil water notice for all water obtained from the CUC distribution system until further notice as CUC and Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality labs are temporarily unable to test the water for bacterial contamination.
The boil water notice is being issued strictly as a precautionary measure.
Due to interruptions in the distribution system, water from CUC could possibly contain pathogens such as fecal coliform (or E. coli) bacteria. These bacteria can make you sick, and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.
Bacterial contamination can occur when water distribution has been disrupted and the pipes have been without water for an extended period of time. It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes) or a failure in the water treatment process.
What should I do? What does this mean?
Do not drink the water without boiling it first.
Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
Alternatively, customers may also disinfect their water using bleach. As a result, we advise the community to boil their water or disinfect with bleach using the following measurements:
CONTAINER SIZE AMOUNT OF BLEACH
CLEAR WATER CLOUDY WATER
ONE (1) GALLON 3 DROPS 6 DROPS
FIVE (5) GALLON 15 DROPS 30 DROPS
FIFTY FIVE (55) GALLON 1-½ TEASPOONS 1 TABLESPOON
ONE HUNDRED (100) GALLON 3 TEASPOONS 2 TABLESPOONS
FIVE HUNDRED (500) GALLON 5 TABLESPOONS ½ CUP
ONE THOUSAND (1000) GALLON ½ CUP 1 CUP
Fecal coliforms and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, and people with severely compromised immune systems.
The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice from their health care providers about drinking this water
CUC is working to restore the water distribution system and will notify the public once chlorinated water service resumes.
For more information, please contact the CUC Customer Call Center at 664-4282. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791. (CUC)