EPA advises consumers of water supplied by the public water system to boil it before use

  • Date: January 27, 2011
  • Source: Admin
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Through its News Release dated Jan 24, 2010, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has advised that all water dispensed by the Omaha Tribe’s Macy, Neb., public water system used for purposes like drinking, brushing teeth, cooking, making ice, washing dishes, or otherwise used for human consumption be boiled. The water should be boiled for up to three minutes so any bacteria or organism that may have entered the water will be killed.  It has issued the notice concurrently with the Omaha Tribe to assure that the public is fully informed.  

EPA wants the water boiling practice to continue until the water sampling data convinces it that the health of the public is protected and the fact is communicated by it jointly with the Omaha Macy Water System. Failure to boil the water before using it could pose serious health risks, especially to very old and very young persons, or persons of any age with weakened immune systems.

For many months, the said public water system experienced multiple and widespread losses of pressure in the distribution system. It was caused by line breaks and intermittent operation of the water system.  Thus there was a potential for fecal contamination or other disease-causing organisms to enter the distribution system.  To make matters worse, the water utility did not collect water samples in December 2010 to test for contamination.  


All public water systems are required to sample and test water regularly for the presence of fecal coliform or E. coli. Without prompt and regular testing, the safety of the water cannot be determined. Ensuring safe drinking water is the joint responsibility of EPA, states, tribes, water systems, and the public.




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