September 2, 2014

Toledo, OH Residents Urged to Not Drink or Touch the Water

Water glasses

The City of Toledo, Ohio has posted an urgent notice for residents of Toledo and Lucas counties who receive water from the city: do not drink or touch the water. The water is contaminated with algal toxins that boiling cannot remove. In fact, boiling will increase the concentration of the toxins. This notice applies to ALL customers of Toledo water. Water should not be consumed until the all clear is issued. Do not give this water to pets. Do not use the water for washing, showering, bathing, brushing teeth, making ice, preparing infant formula, or for cleaning. And do not use it to wash food. Filtration systems will not remove the toxins. In addition, restaurants and food facilities are being asked to temporarily suspend their operations unless they can guarantee no consumption of tap … [Read more...]

E. coli in Portland Oregon Water System Leads to Boil Notice

Water-glass-feature

The Portland Water Bureau issued a Boil Water Notice to all of its customers on May 23, 2014 after E. coli was found in the drinking water supply. The affected areas include Portland Water Bureau, Burlington, City of Gresham north of I-84, Lake Grove, Lorna Portland, Palatine HIll, Rockwood, Tigard Water Service Area (including Durham, King City and Bull Mountain), Valley View, and West Slope Water Districts. The number of people affected by this notice is about 670,000. Water samples taken at three locations tested positive for E. coli over a three day period. They were collected at the outlets of Mount Tabor Reservoirs 1 and 5, and at the SE 2nd Avenue and Salmon Street water sampling station. Those reservoirs have been taken offline. All customers should boil all tap water used … [Read more...]

Focus of World Water Day 2014 is Energy

E.-coli-Water-by-NASA

The focus of World Water Day 2014 is energy. The United Nations designated March 22, 1993 World Water Day and it has been observed annually since then as  a day to focus attention on freshwater resources.  Each year, a different aspect of freshwater management is highlighted. This year's focus is energy. Organizers hope this year's observance will raise awareness of the link between water and energy,  contribute to the policy conversation in this area, and demonstrate how integrated approaches to these issues can achieve better results. "Particular attention will be paid to identifying best practices that can make a water- and energy-efficient 'Green Industry' a reality," according to the UN 's Water website. At least 780 million people throughout the world lack access to safe … [Read more...]

Nephros Water Filtration Products Recalled

Water glasses

After the news about the chemical spill in West Virginia, and coal ash in the Dan River in North Carolina, many people are looking into water filtration products. Two products have been recalled because they "pose risks to health, potentially resulting in sickness or death" according to the FDA. One person has died and one person has contracted an infection as a result of these products. The products are Nephros non-medical water filtration SafeSpout and SafeShower products. All production lots are recalled. The products were manufactured between July 2011 and September 2013 and distributed between October 2011 and October 2013. They are SafeSpout 70-0233 and 70-0238; SafeShower HH (Hand Held) 70-0237; and SafeShower FH (Fixed Head) 70-0236. Exposure to harmful bacteria could occur … [Read more...]

Hazardous Chemical Leaked into West Virginia Water Supply

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More than 300,000 residents of West Virginia have been forced to use bottled water since a chemical spill contaminated the water supply in the Elk River. A Freedom Industries plant had a 40,000 gallon tank of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol next to the river. Officials say that about 7,500 gallons leaked into the river, but no one is sure. The West Virginia governor issued a State of Emergency for West Virginia American Water customers in Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane counties, and President Obama signed an Emergency Declaration on January 10, 2013 to authorize federal agencies to coordinate disaster relief efforts. The West Virginia American Water Company has issued a "do not use" order; that means residents cannot use the water for drinking, … [Read more...]

E. coli Found in Lyons CO Drinking Water

E coli and HUS TTP Food Poisoning

After the massive flooding in Colorado, the state and several cities and municipalities warned residents to avoid flood water and issued boil orders. Now E. coli bacteria has been found in the water system in Lyons, Colorado. The town is in the foothills north of Boulder. The news was streamed over the internet on the Longmont Channel because City Hall is shut down. City administrator Victoria Simonsen said in that meeting, "we don't want you using any of the water, so it was turned off. It is critical we get that back up and get it disinfected before we would want any of you to be back." Officials said it could take up to six months before the town is livable. Lyons was previously under a "boil water" order. The contamination is most likely from raw sewage and livestock waste. For … [Read more...]

Flood Advisory Updates from Colorado

flood

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has posted updates about the serious flooding and water safety. They are advising people to avoid potentially contaminated flood waters, since contaminants such as raw sewage and chemicals from homes, businesses, and industry may be in the water. If you come into contact with floodwaters, wash frequently with warm water and soap. Several communities have issued "boil water advisories", including Firestone, Frederick, Left Hand Water District, Lyons, and Mountain Meadow (Allenspark). Widespread outbreaks of infectious diseases after floods aren't common in this country, but they can happen. If you have been ill with three or more days of diarrhea, any bloody diarrhea, diarrhea plus a fever, or other health concerns, contact your … [Read more...]

Flooding in Colorado Creates Water Safety Problems

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The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued a health advisory and is advising residents to avoid contact with rivers and streams after massive flooding followed heavy rains this week. Rivers and streams may be contaminated with partially treated sewage and other wastewater because of power failures and damage to wastewater treatment systems. Keep out of rivers and streams in northeastern Colorado under further notice. The affected counties include Adams, Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer, Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick and Weld. Don't let children or pets play in the water, or to play with toys that have been in contact with the water. Wash hands frequently with soap and clean warm water. If you have been in contact with the water and experience diarrhea or vomiting, see … [Read more...]

Outbreaks Associated with Drinking Water in the U.S.

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Those of us in the United States tend to think of illnesses caused by drinking water as a third world problem. But believe it or not, people in the United States are getting sick after consuming water from public treated systems. The MMWR news synopsis for September 5, 2013 reports that  contamination of untreated ground water in public water systems and private wells, Legionella in building plumbing systems, and deficiencies in the public drinking water infrastructure are all causes of illness. The numbr of outbreaks in the federally regulated portions of public water systems has declined. But when these outbreaks occur, they sicken many people because so many use water from the tap. During 2009-2010, the latest year for which finalized numbers are available, there were 33 … [Read more...]

E. coli O157:H7 Illnesses Linked to Swimming in Lake Minnetonka

Big Island Lake Minnetonka E coli

Three cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness in Minnesotans linked to swimming in the Big Island area of Lake Minnetonka, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). All three cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection have the same DNA fingerprint. The illnesses occurred in young adults, all are residents of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. One person was hospitalized but has since recovered. The connection to Lake Minnetonka was found after investigators questioned those sickened. All of the cases reported swimming and boating on July 4, 2013, in the Big Island area of Lake Minnetonka. The image is courtesy the Star Tribune, and it shows how popular that area is with boaters. The source of the E. coli in the water is unknown. However, lakes can be contaminated through multiple … [Read more...]

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