Alamosa, Colo., Water Tests Positive for Salmonella

Laboratory results of Alamosa's municipal water system have tested positive for salmonella, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Officials at the state health department laboratory confirmed five out of six water samples taken from various areas around Alamosa tested positive for the bacteria. Presumptive test results from the laboratory at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also are positive. As of 11 a.m. March 24, 217 cases of salmonella have been reported, with 68 confirmed. The source of the contamination is still being investigated.

Customers who pay their water bill to the city of Alamosa, which includes those in the Bonneyville Subdivision, are under a bottled water advisory. East Alamosa Water and Sanitation District customers are not affected by the bottled water advisory.

City water officials began a three-stage water treatment process to disinfect the system and mitigate the problem on March 25. City of Alamosa officials worked with the Water Quality Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver Water, Aurora Water, and Fort Collins Utilities to plan the disinfecting and flushing of Alamosa's municipal water system.
Officials cautioned residents that, when the flushing began, boiling water would not be adequate protection from the contaminated water. Only bottled water should be consumed from the time the flushing of the system begins until further notice, city and state officials said.
Officials from the Colorado Division of Emergency Management and the Emergency Preparedness and Response Division at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment worked with commercial water bottlers and suppliers to help provide bottled water to the community through distribution centers identified by the city.

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