Boil order for E. coli lifted in Reading

READING, MASS. (WHDH) - The boil water order for Reading residents has been lifted, but residents are still concerned about the E. Coli contamination that prompted the four-day order over the weekend.

The Reading Water Department collecting routine samples at 10 locations throughout the town Thursday found one sample from 295 Salem St. had tested positive for E. coli.

The Town of Reading released a statement urging residents to “boil water for at least one minute or use bottled water. You may cool the boiled water before using it. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, food preparation, pets, brushing teeth and washing dishes until further notice.”

The order was lifted at 6 a.m. on Monday but town officials advised residents to flush their water to clear plumbing of any potential contaminants.

Town officials handed out bottled water Sunday, an act resident Pat Bassermann appreciated.

“I’ve got three kids so having to boil water is inconvenient but it’s nice that they hand out water,” he said.

But others wanted to know more about the contamination.

“I mean, how did it get into the system?” said resident Larry Blake.

Reading Public Schools opened Monday morning with bottled water for students and staff.

Bacteria contamination can happen when there’s a lot of rain and increased run-off gets into the source of drinking water.

Drinking water contaminated with E. coli can cause symptoms including stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, especially in infants, young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

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