Environmental Protection

DEP Alerts Grand Valley, Pa., to Boil Water

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has urged approximately two dozen households in Grand Valley, Warren County, Pa., to boil their water because the presence of fecal coliform bacteria and other organisms in drinking water poses a high health risk, according to Regional Director Kelly Burch.

“Fecal coliform bacteria and organisms, including algae and plant debris, were discovered during recent testing of water system samples,” said Burch in a June 30 press release. “The boil water advisory is necessary because of the potential health risk to people living in these households.”

Fecal coliform bacteria are found in the intestines of warm blooded animals, including humans, and are closely associated with E. coli, the bacteria that causes illness when consumed.

The algae, plant debris, and other organisms that were identified by the DEP laboratory are found in surface water. Finding these organisms in a water supply can mean that other disease-causing organisms are present.

The households are receiving their drinking water from an unpermitted water system primarily fed by a spring with no treatment. DEP collected samples last week to determine if the water poses an immediate or acute health risk, the first step in evaluating the water system in preparation for bringing it into compliance with state regulations.

Under a boil water advisory, residents should bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Residents are encouraged to boil water until further notice.

For more information on water quality, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Water Quality.

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