Authorities in Clinton, Utah are cautioning residents to drink bottled water instead of tap owing to a possibility of E. coli contamination.
Officials have revealed that water samples taken on Wednesday, Aug. 6, tested positive for the bacteria.
It is suspected that the contamination of the city supply may have happened as a result of a resident connecting the irrigation water with the drinking water system unknowingly. This has been disconnected though and officials are endeavoring to disinfect the water supply to the city.
Owing to the grave situation, the authorities have issued a water advisory to Clinton's residents.
"Water samples taken on Aug. 6 (Wednesday) tested positive for E.coli, which is an indicator that the water may not be safe to drink," said Dennis Cluff, City Manager. "Because the water quality is unknown, customers should assume the water is unsafe to drink and take the appropriate precautions such as using bottled water for drinking and discarding ice made with tap water."
For the uninitiated, E. coli can cause several health issues like diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, dehydration and headaches. People can recover within a week normally; however, in some cases the infection is capable of causing liver failure.
Residents can take some precautionary steps to avoid infection. These measures include using boiled water or bottled water instead of tap. Those looking to drink boiled water should bring it to a rapid boil for at least 5 minutes.
Moreover, boiled/bottled water should be used for preparing food, brushing teeth or washing hands. One can bathe with tap water, provided it does not go into the mouth and one does not have open sores on the body to avoid infection risk.
Once the city water supply is deemed safe residents should flush or drain icemakers, purifiers, water heaters or softeners, as well as reverse osmosis systems. It is advisable to let chlorine water run through every tap in one's home or work place for at least 20 minutes. This should be followed by running hot water for two minutes. One should also chuck out ice cubes or other water stored in the refrigerator.
Whether the water is safe will only become known to authorities by Thursday, Aug. 7, afternoon when the results come back post further testing.