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Boil order issued in Blackfoot

BLACKFOOT, Idaho (KIFI) - The City of Blackfoot has issued a boil order after E. coli was discovered in the city’s water.

On Tuesday, five routine water samples were taken throughout the City of Blackfoot. One of the samples taken in the Southeast part of Blackfoot tested positive for E. coli bacteria. Confirmation testing was performed on Wednesday, and confirmation results were received on Thursday.

These bacteria can make you sick and are especially a concern for people with weakened immune systems.

Officials say do not drink the water without boiling it first. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for 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.

The city was able to isolate the boil order to the east side of the railroad tracks. E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates 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.

Officials say 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.

The city said it is completing a comprehensive assessment of the water system and the monitoring and operational practices to identify and correct any causes of the contamination. It is also inspecting residences in the area for potential cross-connections between the community water system and any non-potable systems.

Officials are chlorinating and flushing the water system and have begun additional sampling of the water system.

The city will inform you when tests show no bacteria are present and you no longer need to boil your water. The city anticipates resolving the problem within seven days.

For more information, contact the Blackfoot Water Dept. at 208-785-8608 or 10 W. Walker Blackfoot, ID 83221. Hours are M-Th 7am-5pm, Fri 8am-12pm. 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.

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