Boil Water Notice
To all customers of the Cotuit Water Department
Located in Cotuit, Massachusetts
BOIL YOUR WATER BEFORE USING
Our water system routinely monitors for the presence of drinking water contaminants to ensure the safety of the water supply. On September 6, 2013 we were notified that E. coli was detected in one of our distribution system samples. While we test more samples and evaluate the water system operation, we are advising our customers to BOIL the water to reduce any potential risk to bacterial or viral contamination.
What should you do?
DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST.
Bring all water to a rolling boil, let it boil for one (1) 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.
Please refer to the attached notice and following information for additional precautions you can take. This information is also located on the MassDep website:
Consumer Information on Boil Orders http://www.mass.gov/dep/water/drinking/boilordr.htm
Boil Order Frequently Asked Questions http://www.mass.gov/dep/water/drinking/boilfaq.htm
Discard any ice, beverages, formula, and uncooked foods that were prepared with water from the public water system on or after September 5, 2013.
People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk and should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s
Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1 (800) 426-4791. www.epa.gov/safewater/hotline
Food establishments must follow MA DPH procedures and the direction of their local board of health, which may be more stringent than the DPH guide. Ma Department of Public Health – Guidance for Emergency Action Planning for Retail Food Establishments (pg 19)
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who
may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes,
schools and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
What does this mean?
E. coli is a fecal indicator and it was detected in the distribution system. Because a fecal indicator was detected the USEPA requires us to provide you with this Notice and the following information on fecal indicators. “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, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.”
Coliforms are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially-harmful bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more sample than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems.
These 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 about drinking water from their health care providers.
What is being done?
We are working with law enforcement and the Department of Environmental Protection to investigate/ resolve this issue. We have begun chlorinating the entire distribution system today, Friday, September 6, 2013. In addition, we are evaluating all available information and conducting tests to confirm the extent of the contamination of the system. We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate resolving the problem within 48 hours.
For more information, please contact Chris Wiseman at the Cotuit Water Department at 508-428-2687.
PWSID# 4020003 Date Distributed 9/6/13.