The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. issued a “boil water” health advisory to its water customers yesterday in the wake of Super Typhoon Hagibis.
It said the glancing blow from the typhoon has disrupted the water supply and/or distribution system and the risk of contamination by coliform bacteria is uncertain.
“This emergency boil water advisory is intended to inform the public of the status of the drinking water supply and what can be done to reduce the health risks. If tap water is to be used for drinking purposes, consumers are strongly advised to boil water before use,” the CUC statement said.
What should I do? What does this mean?
■ BOIL TAP WATER BEFORE USE. Bring all water to a boil, let boil for one minute, then let cool before using, or use bottled water as an alternative. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Purpose of the boiling process is to kill bacteria and other organisms in the water.
■ This boil water health advisory is in effect immediately to all residents of Saipan and Tinian. If you are experiencing stomach ache, diarrhea, or vomiting, please see your physician as soon as possible. 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.
What is being done?
CUC will continue to monitor chlorine residual throughout the distribution system and ensure that proper treatment is achieved. Water samples will be collected to analyze for the presence of coliform bacteria and E. coll. CUC will inform you when tests show no bacteria and no longer require water to be boiled.
CUC encourages its water customers to share this information with all other consumers, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses).
For more information, contact the CUC Call Center at (670) 664-4282. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available on the United States EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791. (PR)