Jan. 18, 2005 Water collected in the Sugar Estate and Estate Thomas area during routine testing last week turned up positive for total coliform and e-coli bacteria.
In a release from the Water and Power Authority, users of WAPA's potable water distribution system in Sugar Estate and Estate Thomas were advised to boil all water intended for human consumption for four minutes before using it 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, the release said.
The release explained that 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 to infants, young children, and people with severely compromised immune systems.
The symptoms may be caused by other factors, as well, according to the release, which warned, "If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers."
WAPA has repaired the service lines that caused the initial contamination and continues to test the potable water, according to the release.
"WAPA will inform you when the tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water," the release said.
WAPA issued an initial warning Friday, (See "Community Alert: WAPA Advises Residents of Sugar Estate and Estate Thomas to Boil Drinking Water")
For more information on this situation contact Gregory L. Rhymer, director of Systems Planning and Environmental Affairs at 774-3552. Guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
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