Boil order issued for Roberts after E.coli is found in water - East Idaho News

Boil order issued for Roberts after E.coli is found in water

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The following is a news release from the city of Roberts.

The Department of Environmental Quality was in the city of Roberts Friday, Feb. 24, to investigate a complaint received that morning.

Bacteria samples were collected from four locations by DEQ staff. Laboratory analysis determined the samples had total coliforms present.

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The samples were then examined for E.coli which returned positive in two of the four locations. An exceedance of the maximum contaminant level for E.coli constitutes an acute violation that represents a potential and immediate threat to public health. These bacteria can make you sick and are especially a concern for people with a weakened immune system such as children, elderly, and pregnant women.

What should I do? What does this mean?

  • DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for a minimum of one 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.
  • You may continue to use your water to wash your hands using antibacterial soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Human pathogens in these wastes can cause short-term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a greater health risk for infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.
  • The 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 from their healthcare providers about drinking this water.

What is being done?

  • We will inform you when tests show no bacteria are present and you no longer need to boil your water.
  • The City of Robert’s Certified Operator has been in contact with DEQ staff on corrective actions that are required to be taken
  • The City of Robert’s is being required to flush all hydrants in the distribution system, isolate and drain the storage tank, and collect a source sample Monday, Feb. 27.
  • DEQ staff will be in the City of Robert’s Monday, Feb. 27, collecting additional samples and monitoring the situation.
  • It is recommended that the City of Roberts provide alternative water sources to the community such as bottled water. If you are providing bottled water, make sure it meets U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and/or state bottled water safety standards.

For more information, contact the city of Roberts at (208) 228-3220. City Hall is located at 647 N 2872 E in Roberts. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by bacteria and other disease-causing organisms are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800- 426-4791.

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is available for the community to contact to at (208) 528-2650 about environmental concerns. We also have a link on our website which is provided: DEQ is dedicated to protecting human health and the quality of Idaho’s air, land, and water.