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E. coli found in Colonial Beach drinking water

Colonial Beach residents were notified this morning in a drinking water warning that a water sample from the town water system tested positive for E. coli.

Town residents were urged this morning not to drink water from their faucets without boiling it first, in order to kill the bacteria and other organisms in the water.

Currently the town is flushing pipes, increasing chlorination and performing additional testing to fix the problem.

E. coli  is a fecal indicator, or a microbe that indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes.

The microbes can cause short-term health effects such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea and headaches. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems.

For more information, residents can contact Robert Murphy, Colonial Beach Public Works Department director or Jill Tighe, Wastewater Treatment Plant supervisor at 804/224-7260.

Residents should call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800/426-4791 for general guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by E. coli microbes.

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