A precautionary boil water order was issued Wednesday for parts of Broward County after E. coli was detected in the South Broward Regional Wellfield.
Cities included in the advisory are Dania Beach, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Broward County Water and Wastewater Services customers in parts of Dania Beach, Hollywood, Miramar (area bounded by Pembroke Road to the north, S.R. 7 to the east, Southwest 25th Street to the south, Florida's Turnpike to the west), West Park, Pembroke Park and Pembroke Pines. This also includes the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Florida Power and Light.
"This is precautionary," said Broward County Water and Wastewater Services Director Terry Karda. "It was raw water. It was not treated or disinfected and I trust that if there was an issue, it would have been cleared up in the treatment process, but we still need to be cautious."
Residents in affected areas are asked to boil water used for drinking for at least 48 hours. The notice will remain in effect until a bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe to drink.
- Boil water before use, holding it to a rolling boil for one minute (preferred method)
- Disinfect water by adding eight drops of plain unscented household bleach per gallon of water, and let it stand for 30 minutes before drinking it. If the water remains cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure
- Use bottled water
It's unclear how E. coli got into the water.
"It could be a function of an animal doing its business in a water port, [it] could be a bad sample," said Karda.
Inadequately treated or inadequately protected water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, cramps, and associated headaches. Fecal indicators are microbes whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term health 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. These symptoms are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice.
For more information, contact Broward County Water and Wastewater Services at 954-831-3250.