For the second time in as many months, Utah is facing a municipal water crisis. Back in April, the community of Nibley was unable to use the water from the taps due to a chemical spill. This time, the city of Syracuse, Utah has issued a boil order due to E. Coli and Coliform contamination in the water supply.
It seems that across the country, more and more water crises are occurring, underlining the need for all households to possess an emergency water supply.
The contamination was discovered after residents complained that the color of the water coming from their taps was “off.” Testing was performed and the following advisory was issued:
This afternoon (Friday, June 5, 2015), Syracuse City received a confirmed contamination sample from the culinary water system. The sample was obtained from the area of 700 South and 2500 West and tested positive for E-coli and Coliform. The City’s Public Works department has discovered and isolated the source of contamination, which was due to a cross connection of culinary and secondary water lines. The City has isolated the cross connected lines which has eliminated the contamination source, and is currently flushing the water mains. Due to the possibility of residual contamination throughout the system, the City is issuing a water advisory or “Boil Notice” for the entire City until further notice.
E. Coli is one type of Coliform bacteria. These are found in animal and human feces. Consumption of water that contains this bacteria can cause severe gastrointestinal distress that lasts for about a week. In some cases, severe complications can occur, including intestinal bleeding, long term nerve dysfunction, renal failure, and clotting disorders. It’s imperative that a person suffering from an infection with a coliform bacteria not be treated with antidiarrheal medication:
Milder cases of E. coli can be treated at home with oral rehydration therapy. It is vital that the patient not be treated with antidiarrheals, salicylates (aspirin, ibuprofen, or Pepto-Bismol), or antibiotics. Salicylates can increase the risk of intestinal bleeding. If the secondary symptoms listed above occur, this connotes a medical emergency and assistance should be sought if at all possible.
Once the city of Syracuse has determined the water to be safe, residents will be advised to flush their home systems in order to remove any traces of lingering E. Coli or other Coliform bacteria.
If you don’t yet have a stored water supply, now is the time to start. These types of emergencies occur with no warning whatsoever, and by the time you “run to the store” to pick up water, everyone else in the area will have the same idea. If you never buy a single canned good or bag of pasta for long term food storage, please store water. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see the good sense in being prepared for an event that could happen any place, at any time.
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