E. coli prompts boil water notice

BAYTOWN, TX [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required the City of Baytown to notify customers of the need to boil their water prior to consumption.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking and making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system officials will notify you that the water is safe for consumption. The Baytown water system collected two water samples during May 2009 that contained coliform bacteria. Of these, both samples contained E. coli bacteria. This water system is required to submit a minimum of 80 water samples each month for bacteriological analysis. Additional samples must be collected when routine monthly samples indicate the presence of coliform bacteria.

Fecal coliform and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal feces. Microbes in feces can cause short-term effects such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose as special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may call Mike Hughes at 281-420-5311.

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