Monday, February 20, 2006

Don't drink the water.. at least in St. Cloud

Just got this in that St.Cloud has issued a water warning:

The city of St. Cloud issued a drinking water warning Monday evening after finding a possible contamination of the E. coli bacteria, said Utilities Director Ken Robinson.

The warning also affects St. Augusta residents.

Officials say residents should boil their water for one minute before drinking it.

Robinson said he does not believe the contamination is suspicious.

Officials tested the water in several locations in the facility and the tests in the first stages of the treatment came back negative.

Robinson said he expects the water to be back to normal tomorrow.

"We're being very careful," he said.

E. coli can make you sick, especially for people with weakened immune systems like children and the elderly. It can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms.

Robinson said the Water Treatment Facility tests its water daily for bacteria. After receiving positive results on Saturday and Sunday, the city put out an alert as is outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency, he said.

The cause is unknown at this time and the Water Treatment Facility continues to do testing in the facility and in distribution centers. Those results will be made public as soon as they are available, Robinson said.

On Monday evening, no one had reported being sick to health officials.

The presence of fecal coliforms and E. coli in water indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes.

Although the St. Cloud Times states that "water will be back to normal tomorrow", a perusal of local Cable Channel 19 does not state this... Thus far no reports of illnesses, so it's my take that this warning is purely a precautionary measure at this time...

Perrier, anyone?

(filed under miscellany)