September 25, 2018

E. coli Found in Kingston, GA and Horn Lake, MS Drinking Water

The bacteria E. coli has been found in the drinking water of the city of Kingston, Georgia, according to CBS Atlanta. In addition, E. coli bacteria was found in the water supply in Horn Lake, Mississippi, according to wmctv.com. There is no information about this problem posted on either city’s web site, but boil water notices have been issued, and officials in Kingston did not get back to us by press time.

E. coliE. coli bacteria can cause serious and life threatening infections. Complications of this infection include hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure and death.

Billy Baker, who runs the Kingston water department, told the Daily Tribune News that the city has shut down the well and began to use another one. Apparently, heavy rain caused flooding that contaminated the well. The contamination was discovered during “routine monthly testing.” One of the tests came back positive for fecal coliform, which indicates the presence of feces from animals and/or people.  The Dawson Street well was the source of the contamination and was shut down on January 17, 2013.

EPA requirements cover actions a municipality must take when fecal coliform bacteria or E. coli bacteria is found in a water source. The well must be cleaned and must pass five consecutive tests to prove it’s free from contamination before it can be used again.

A boil order remains in effect for all Kingston water customers.  People are urged to use bottled water or boil all water for at least one minute before drinking it, cooking with it, or using it to prepare baby food. Residents can call Kingston City Hall at 770-336-5905 for more information. Meanwhile, ABC24.com has said that the boil order for Horn Lake residents was lifted yesterday.

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