Wellesley, Massachusetts – Bacteria known as E. Coli was found in the water supply at Wellesley College, in Massachusetts. Four buildings, The Weston Terrace, Fiske House, The Wellesley Community Children’s Center and the Child Study Center, tested positive for the contamination of the bacteria. This provoked the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to issue an advisory to boil water.
“The advisory was issued on the basis of routine testing of our water system, which determined that the portion of the system that reaches those four buildings has tested positive for bacterial contamination. We are currently flushing the system and will continue routine testing throughout the weekend,” the college said in a statement.
The warning was issued on Friday, at 4:30 p.m., by the state authorities. The community was told to boil water for a minute, or use bottled water for drinking, food preparation, brushing teeth, and washing dishes, until further notice. The authorities also added that all ice, uncooked foods, beverages and formula made with tap water after August 19, 2016, should be discarded.
The bacteria E. coli is mostly harmless and it can be found in the intestines of people and animals. Its presence in the water supply of those buildings on campus might indicate that the water is contaminated with feces and pathogens that cause illness, according to the website of the state Department of Environmental Protection.
When the E. coli makes people sick, it can cause severe diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and headaches, and it can be very harmful to children, elderly people, and individuals that have a compromised immune system.
Sofiya Cabalquinto, a college spokeswoman, said that people have not got sick from drinking the water, yet.
“The health and safety of the college community are our top priority,” Cabalquinto said.
The school will continue to test the water throughout the weekend, and will inform the community when the water is able to consume, as soon as they know if it is safe to drink.
Source: Boston Globe