ISLAND PARK — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued another boil water order for Island Park residents, according to a news release from the department.
According to the release, the department took water samples on May 8 and 9 as “part of an investigation of water pressure and quality complaints.”
“Over 25 samples were collected,” Kelsey Carter, Drinking Water Analyst for the DEQ, told EastIdahoNews.com in a written statement. “Of the 25 samples collected, nine came back with E.coli contamination present.”
The results prompted the DEQ to issue a boil water order for the following neighborhoods:
- Valley View Subdivision
- Goose Bay Estates
- Aspen Ridge Subdivision
All three neighborhoods were already under a boil water advisory issued by the DEQ.
“We would suggest any residence connected to Island Park Water Company wells exercise an abundance of caution,” Carter stated. “A boil water advisory will remain in place for Shotgun North and Shotgun Kickapoo.” The department is working with Island Park Water Company, which owns and operates these systems, to resolve the situation.
Carter said 17 samples had total coliform bacteria, which is different from E.coli and doesn’t warrant a boil order. The presence of E. coli means that fecal matter — either human or animal — has been introduced into the drinking water system.
Symptoms of E. coli infection
E. coli infection symptoms vary for each person. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, there are several common symptoms. These include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Some people may have a low-grade fever (less than 101˚F). Most people get better within five to seven days. People with E. coli infection usually begin feeling sick about three or four days after eating or drinking contaminated food or, in this case, water. “However, illnesses can start anywhere from one to 10 days after exposure,”
What to do
Do NOT drink the water without boiling it first. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Bring all water to a full boil and let it boil for at least one minute. Allow it cool before using it. Boiled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation until further notice. Alternately, bottled water may be used for these activities, as well.