BLACKFOOT – A boil advisory is in effect for the Blackfoot water supply until further notice.
The city issued the advisory Thursday afternoon in response to E. coli bacteria showing up in routine water samples.
A news release posted on the city’s Facebook page indicates routine water samples were taken in the southeast part of Blackfoot on Tuesday. One of the samples tested positive for E. coli.
“E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes,” the news release says. “These bacteria can make you sick, and are especially a concern for people with weakened immune systems.”
It also poses a risk to infants, young children and the elderly. Drinking contaminated water can cause short-term diarrhea, cramps, nausea and headaches.
City officials are doing a comprehensive assessment of the water system to identify and correct the problem. They will be chlorinating and flushing the city’s water and will gather additional samples on Monday.
They anticipate having the problem resolved within 7 days.
“We will inform you when tests show no bacteria are present,” officials say.
Until then, they are asking Blackfoot residents to boil their water before drinking it.
“Bring all the water to a boil, let it boil for one minute and let it cool before using or use bottled water,” the news release says. “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.”
Additional information can be obtained by calling the Blackfoot Water Department at (208) 785-8608 or the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.