The Westerly Water Department issued “Boil Water Advisory” after infectious bacterium E.coli was isolated from two of its supplies. The bacteria isolated from water is capable of producing wide range of infections in human including Acute Gastroenteritis, Urinary Tract Infections and Meningitis in children.
E coli is a gram negative facultative anaerobic rod shaped bacilli found in contaminated foods, environment and intestines of animals. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, some of them are harmful. The strains capable of making you sick includes Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) and Diarrheagenic E. coli.
According to Stonington Police, the advisory was issued after two of Westerly’s wells tested positive for “fecal indicator.” The Department on their website warned Stonington residents to boil the water for at least one minute before it can be used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation.
Anyone using the water for bathing or showering should be careful to avoid swallowing the water. The advisory will remain in effect until the problem can be ratified and they can test the water.