Anyone who ingests contaminated water may become ill. Infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems are more at risk of illness.
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There may, or may not be anything wrong with the water supply. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is requiring that we notify residents of the potential for contamination due to a depressurization of the water main in your area.
A boil order has been issued to your water system because either technical/physical problems in the water system have increased the possibility of bacterial contamination, or recent testing has shown the presence of organisms that could cause illness (e.g., fecal or E. coli bacteria).
The City is required to collect one set of samples for each depressurization. These samples require 24 hours of incubation time before the results can be determined. Assuming the tests are negative customers will receive a green door tag notifying that the water has been cleared for normal use. If the samples collected are found to have bacteria then additional testing will take place and the boil order will remain in effect until all samples pass and you receive a green door tag. If you have a question about an issued boil order please call 330-334-1581 ext 3002.
Boiling the water is the best way to ensure that it is free of illness-causing organisms. Bring water to a rolling boil for a minimum of two minutes. When it cools, refrigerate the water in clean containers. A pinch of salt per quart may improve the rather "flat" taste of boiled water.
Buying bottled water may be a feasible alternative to boiling water. Bottled water operations are routinely inspected, and samples are periodically analyzed to ensure they meet health standards.
Use the following guidelines to see what you can use your tap water for:
It is recommended that you wash your hands using soap and either bottled water or pre-boiled water. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer may also be used.
The risk of bathing or showering in tap water is uncertain and so should be avoided, particularly by people with open wounds or who are immuno-compromised. For those people who choose to shower or bathe in the tap water, minimize the time spent in the water and be sure to keep your eyes and mouth closed. Babies and young children should not bathe or shower in tap water because they often swallow some water accidentally.
You may use a dishwasher if it has a sanitizing cycle. If it does not have a sanitizing cycle, or you are not sure if it does, you may hand wash dishes and utensils by following these steps:
None of these devices should be used if they are directly connected to your water supply. Also, filters are unacceptable for removing bacteria. Once you have been notified that the boil order has been lifted, these devices should be cleaned and sanitized according to the operator's manual for the device.
Although pets are not normally affected by the same diseases as humans, caution suggests giving pets pre-boiled or bottled water.
Disease symptoms may include diarrhea, cramps, nausea and possible jaundice and associated headaches and fatigue. 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 disease-causing organisms in drinking water; they may also be caused by a number of other factors. If you are ill with these symptoms, contact your health care provider.
There is nothing you can do about the exposure you have already received. If you become ill, contact your health care provider.
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. E. coli outbreaks receive much media coverage. Most outbreaks have been related to food contamination (not water) caused by a specific strain of E. coli known as E. coli O157:H7.
When a drinking water sample is reported as "E. coli positive," it does not mean that this specific strain is present and in fact, it is probably not present. However, it does indicate recent fecal contamination. Boiling or treating contaminated drinking water with a disinfectant destroys all forms of E. coli, including O157:H7.