All citizens on the O'Neill city water line should begin boiling their water immediately, according to the City of O'Neill.
A boil water notice has been issued for O'Neill after testing of samples came back positive for coliform and e-coli. The Nebraska Division of Public Health informed the City of O'Neill Thursday that of four samples that were tested as part of a routine testing, one tested positive for coliform. The samples were re-tested and three tested for coliform and one also tested positive for e-coli.
Officials have begun investigations as to what caused the bacteria.
Citizens should boil water until further notice. The Nebraska Division of Public Health and City of O'Neill will begin testing new samples as soon as possible.
Anyone using water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation should be sure to boil water first or use bottled water. Citizens bathing or taking a shower are safe as long as they do not ingest the water.
The city will begin chlorinating the water Thursday night or Friday morning.
Anyone with questions or concerns should contact the O'Neill water commissioner, Curtis Kizzire, at (402) 340-7827.
The official notice from the city is below.
BOIL WATER NOTICE
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER
In accordance with the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. the City of O’Neill, NE3108904, public water supply system in HOLT County, is hereby making public notice of the violation of drinking water microbiological standards. The violation consists of the detection of E.coli bacteria in its distribution system during the month of July 2016.
What should I do?
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.
What does this mean?
E.coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that 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 special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.
The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. lf you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice from health care providers about their drinking water.
What happened? What is being done?
Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source (for example, following heavy rains). It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes) or a failure in the water treatment process.
We found E. coli bacteria indicating the need to look for potential problems in water treatment or distribution. When this occurs we are required to conduct an assessment to identify problems and to correct any problems that were found during these assessments.
The City of O’Neill public water supply system is continuing to test and is working with the Drinking Water Program to identify the source of the problem and to return the water supply system to compliance. We will inform you when tests show no further contamination and you no longer need to boil your water. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
For additional information regarding this notice interested persons may contact:
CURTIS L KIZZIRE, City of O’Neill Water Commissioner, Cell: 402-340-7827
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.