MANSFIELD, MASS. (WHDH) - Town officials in Mansfield have been handing out bottled water to residents as their DPW and state agencies addressed cases of E. coli detected in local drinking water.

People living in Mansfield and parts of Foxboro, who are served by the Mansfield Water Division, were told to boil their water after E. coli and coliforms were detected in test samples. The Town of Mansfield issued the notice Sunday afternoon.

In response to the situation, Mansfield Fire and Emergency Management Agency officials opened a free water handout station at the DPW Complex at 500 East Street, which will operate from 3-6 p.m. on Sunday, and 2-7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Monday, lines of cars could be seen at the facility as staffers brought out cases of bottled water to those who stopped by. Several locals spoke with 7NEWS about seeking out the supplies and making do with the situation.

“A lot of stress, especially for a Monday,” one driver told 7NEWS. “We really appreciate the organization here, I’m so impressed. The lines are smooth and everything is well-organized.”

“As far as like, brushing your teeth and washing your fruits and vegetables, and things that you kind of take for granted, that you do day-to-day, (you’re) just having to take a moment and say ‘oh, I really need to use bottled water to do this,'” another local said Monday.

The bacteria was originally detected during a routine test and follow-up tests over the weekend. While the water is safe for things like showers and laundry, residents are being urged to boil their water before drinking or cooking with it. The bacteria detected is known to cause short-term illness, and poses a greater risk for younger and older residents, as well as those who are immunocompromised.

Town officials said the water boil order will come to an end once they receive negative tests for three consecutive days.

According to Interim DPW Director John Reinke, residents living in Mansfield who are served by Attleboro’s water system were not affected by the order. These households include those on Bungay Street, as well as parts of Balcom Street, from Justin Drive to Gilbert Street, with the exception of residents living on Martha’s Way, who are affected.

Affected Foxoro residents include those living on:

  • E. Belcher Road, from the landfill to Spring Street
  • Spring Street, from E. Belcher Road to the Town Line
  • Souza Avenue
  • Barros Lane
  • 131 Morse Street

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox