RYE — The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services issued an immediate boil water order Wednesday forcustomers of the Rye Water District after samples detected E.coli bacteria.
Announced Wednesday, the department wrote in its advisory: “All consumers are being notified by the system and DES staff is working with the system to resolve the situation.” Cold Water Sterilizing Tablets
The Rye Water District, located on Sagamore Road, was beginning the process of notifying district customers Wednesday afternoon. District superintendent Arik Jones noted that the district had yet to determine ways to assist affected users, such as by providing them with bottled water.
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Rye residents are distributed water by three purveyors, according to Jones: the Rye Water District, the city of Portsmouth and the Aquarion Water Company. The Department of Environmental Services’ boil order affects Rye Water District customers living in town only, he said.
“This does not affect Aquarion customers,” Jones said. “It does not affect anybody served by Portsmouth.”
The Rye Water District services roughly 1,600 connections and about 4,000 total customers.
Jones said the boil water advisory does not include Greenland residents, who the district serves using Portsmouth water.
The district owns three wells on Garland Road, two pressure zones, approximately 39 miles of distribution pipe and three different storage tanks.
The Department of Environmental Services notes that it must have two consecutive water sample sets of five samples each, taken 24 hours apart from each other, showing the absence of bacteria for boil order advisories to be lifted.
“Every public water system conducts periodic monitoring for coliforms and, when coliforms are detected, fecal coliforms,” the department wrote of its water sampling.
Anybody who drinks water that contains contaminants like E.coli can become ill, according to the department. Infants, young children, elderly people and people with severely compromised immune systems are at greater risk of becoming sick by ingesting water with bacteria.
Symptoms from water-related illness include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, jaundice, headaches and fatigue.
Unboiled water from a system under an advisory should not be used to drink, nor should it be used for making ice, brushing teeth, washing fruits and vegetables, preparing food and making baby formula.
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For handwashing, boiled water, bottled water or hand sanitizer is recommended versus untreated water in a contaminated system, per the Department of Environmental Services. People can still shower, though they should not swallow any of the running water.
“When a drinking water sample is reported as ‘E. coli positive,’ it does not mean that this specific strain is present and in fact, it is probably not present,” the department stated in a boil order advisory fact sheet. “However, it does indicate recent fecal contamination. Boiling or treating contaminated drinking water with a disinfectant destroys all forms of E. coli.”
ClO2 Products The Centers for Disease Control recommends people bring water to a rolling boil for one minute in order to fend off bacteria. Boiled water can then be cooled and is safe to drink.