NORTH ATTLEBORO, MASS. (WHDH) - North Attleboro and Plainville residents are now under a boil water notice after E. coli was detected in routine water sample collections from Sept. 21.

The E. coli was detected in the raw part of the water system and treatment facility the town shares with Plainville. Immediately after receiving the positive results, officials notified the state Department of Environmental Protection. The cause of the contamination is currently unknown.

The boil water notice is in effect town-wide for everyone who uses public water, and will remain in effect until further notice. This means that all water used for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, washing dishes and/or food preparation should be boiled for at least a minute before use or residents should use bottled water.

Ice, beverages, formula or uncooked foods prepared with public water on or after Sept. 21 should be discarded.

The same precautions apply to pets. Water from appliances connected to water lines, like ice and water from a refrigerator, should not be used for pets, and fish or other aquatic pets should be placed in bottled or boiled and cooled water.

The Town will distribute water at the Department of Public Works Garage at 240 Smith Street beginning at 3 p.m. Thursday. Plainville will distribute water at its Department of Public Works Yard at 29 West Bacon St. from 3-7 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and every day after that until the order is lifted.

Symptoms of E. coli sickness can include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms. These symptoms may pose a greater health risk for infants, young children, the elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems.

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