- Ada, Oklahoma

May 3, 2014

City says water from 'raw' line should be boiled

Eric Swanson Staff Writer
The Ada News

Ada — Ada officials are urging people who rely on the city’s raw water line to boil their water before using it for cooking, making ice or other tasks.

However, the boil order does not apply to people who live within the city limits or use a chlorinator to treat their water.

An April 25 sample showed E. coli — a microbe indicating possible contamination from human or animal waste — is present in Byrd’s Mill Spring, the city’s main source of drinking water.

Microbes in human or animal waste can cause health problems including diarrhea, cramps or headaches.

However, those symptoms are not caused only by microbes in drinking water.

The microbes may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, elderly people and those with severely compromised immune systems. People with symptoms may want to seek medical advice, and those at higher risk should consult their doctor about drinking water.

The presence of E. coli  at Byrd’s Mill Spring prompted city officials to issue a boil water advisory for people who tap into the raw water line, which runs from the spring to the treatment plant near the tennis courts, public information specialist Lisa Bratcher said Friday. About 75 people use raw water, which is not treated at the source.

People who live within the city limits or use a water treatment system do not have to worry about boiling their water, Bratcher said.

“Everybody in the Ada city limits and around our area, their water is treated from the Ada water treatment plant,” she said. “So they are completely safe.”

Bratcher said the city has alerted the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality about the problem, contacted local media outlets and distributed fliers to people using the raw water line.

Those customers should bring their water to a rolling boil and let it boil for one minute, then let it cool before using. Boiling kills the bacteria and other organisms in the water, making it safe to use.

Customers should use boiled or bottled water for drinking, cooking, washing dishes and other tasks. The boil order will remain in effect until further notice.

Bratcher said officials will monitor Byrd’s Mill Spring and take additional water samples until the problem clears up.

The last time the city issued a boil order for people using the raw water line was in November 2013, when a sample showed that E. coli was present in Byrd’s Mill Spring. That order has been supplemented by the order issued Friday.

For more information, call Bratcher at 436-8133. Guidelines for reducing the risk of infection from microbes are available on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline, 1-800-426-4791.

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