BURLINGTON — Director of Public Works John Sanchez and Director of Public Health Susan Lumenello wish to provide an update on the ongoing boil water order in place throughout Burlington.
The Burlington Department of Public Works learned yesterday afternoon that three samples from its routine weekly water sampling tested positive for levels of E. coli. Immediately after identifying the positive samples, DPW officials engaged the state Department of Environmental Protection, and a boil water order was issued.
The boil water remains in effect town-wide for all those who utilize public water, and will continue until further notice. All water that will be used for cooking or drinking should be boiled for at least one minute prior to use.
The Burlington Board of Health has not received any reports of illness related to this incident at this time.
Burlington DPW is conducting re-sampling of the affected areas, as well as additional sampling town-wide in order to determine whether E. coli bacteria remains in the system. Additionally, DPW and the Burlington Police Department have utilized the Burlington Police Department drone to ensure that all water tank hatches remain secure.
“We are working closely with DEP to determine the extent of the issue and are making active efforts to correct it,” Sanchez said. “I want to apologize for the inconvenience this has caused, and assure residents that we are doing our very best to correct it as soon as possible.”
The cause of the contamination remains unknown at this time.
E. coli is a sub-group of the fecal coliform bacteria group. There are many strains of E. coli, most of which are harmless, but some strains can cause illness.
The Burlington Board of Health wishes to share the following guidelines about E. coli sickness, which can cause symptoms including:
Symptoms may appear as early as a few hours to several days after infection and may last more than two weeks. These symptoms, however, are not just associated with water-borne illness; they may also come from other diseases. If you are ill with these symptoms, please contact your health care provider.
Any residents or business owners with questions may call Burlington Public Works at 781-270-1670 or the Burlington Board of Health at 781-270-1955.