RYE — Town Administrator Matthew Scruton and Superintendent Arik Jones share the following update on efforts by the Town and Rye Water District to eliminate E.coli bacteria contamination from the District’s water supply.
A boil order was issued on Oct. 12, when higher-than-acceptable levels of E.coli bacteria were discovered during routine water test samples. During resampling, E.coli was detected at three locations out of the four sample sites.
The Water District has conducted daily water sampling at four sites. In tests taken on Sunday, Oct. 16:
- The Grove Road site tested negative for both E.coli and coliform bacteria.
- The West Road and Lafayette Road sites tested positive for coliform bacteria and negative for E.coli.
- The Washington Road site tested positive for both E.coli and coliform bacteria.
Though some samples show E.coli and coliform bacteria counts above acceptable levels, those counts are trending downward. The Water District is taking numerous steps to continue this trend and identify the source of the contamination.
The Water District has begun a system-wide chlorination, which is standard flushing practice during October. The Water District will resume test sampling once chlorination concludes in several days.
District officials hope to be able to lift the boil order by Saturday, Oct. 29.
The order was issued on Oct. 12, when higher-than-acceptable levels of E.coli bacteria were discovered during routine water test samples. Upon identifying the positive samples, officials immediately engaged the state Department of Environmental Services, issued a boil water order and began public notification.
The boil order remains in effect for all residents within the Rye Water District and will continue until further notice. All water used for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, washing dishes or food preparation should be boiled for at least two minutes before use. Use of bottled water is highly encouraged. The town is making bottled water available at the Rye fire station for residents and business owners.
At the direction of the Select Board, the Town’s leadership team – Town Administrator Scruton, Health Officer Dr. Gail Snow, Police Chief Kevin Walsh, Fire Chief Mark Cotreau, and Public Works Director Jason Rucker – and Superintendent Jones met today to receive updates and discuss strategy. Team members remain in constant communication and will meet daily until the order is lifted.
Residents will be notified when the boil order ends. District residents may register for email and/or text alerts by visiting ryewaterdistrict.com and clicking “Sign Up for Alerts.”
E.coli is a sub-group of the fecal coliform bacteria group. There are many strains of . Most are harmless, but some strains can cause illness.
Symptoms of E. coli sickness can include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. These symptoms may pose a greater health risk for infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems. These symptoms, however, may also come from other diseases. Residents with these symptoms, are asked to contact their healthcare provider.
Ice, beverages, formula or uncooked foods that were prepared with District water before Oct. 11 should be discarded.
Pets should be given bottled water or boiled water that has cooled. Water from any appliance connected to your water line, such as ice and water from a refrigerator, should not be used for pets while under a boil order. Fish or other aquatic pets should not be exposed to water containing elevated bacteria levels, and appropriately boiled or bottled water should be used instead.
Further tips and information about E.coli may be found here.
About the Rye Water District
The Rye Water District is a private non-profit municipality, and one of three Districts serving the Town of Rye. The Rye Water District provides public water service to the majority of Rye residents.