The Onondaga County Health Department is issuing a Boil Water Order to some residents and businesses that are served by the Town of DeWitt Water Department. The affected area is outlined on this map. Test results from routine sampling that were received today confirmed the presence of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. The Town of DeWitt will continue to sample the water over the weekend and the public will be informed when the Boil Water Order is lifted. This service area is under the jurisdiction and authority of the Town of DeWitt, not the Onondaga County Water Authority.
The New York State Department of Health considers any confirmed E. coli positive sample as a public health hazard and a violation of drinking water standards. The presence of E. coli bacteria indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Harmful microbes in these wastes, including E. coli, can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. These may pose a special health risk for infants, some elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems. But these symptoms are not just caused by harmful microbes in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you should seek medical advice. For more information about this Boil Water Order, call the Onondaga County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health at 315.435.6600 or visit ongov.net/health/env/documents/BWODeWitt9-18-20.pdf.
AS A PRECAUTION DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a rolling boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water certified for sale by the New York State Department of Health. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. The boil order will be in effect and sampling will continue in the affected areas until tests confirm there is no more coliform in the water supply.
Additional reminders for residents in this area include:
- If you use bottled water, be sure it comes from a safe source. If you do not know the source, boil or treat the water before you use it. Use only bottled, boiled, or treated water until your water supply is tested and found to be safe.
- Boiling water when practical is the preferred way to get rid of harmful bacterial and parasites. Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will kill most organisms.
- You can treat water with chlorine tablets, iodine tablets, or unscented household chlorine bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite). If you use chlorine tablets or iodine tablets, follow the directions that come with the tablets. If you use household chlorine bleach, add 1/8 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water if the water is clear. If the water is cloudy, add 1/4 teaspoon of bleach per gallon. Mix the solution thoroughly and let it stand for about 30 minutes before using it.
- While drinking water contaminated with coliform bacteria does not always cause illness, residents in the affected areas that experience gastrointestinal upset, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea should contact their healthcare provider.
- It is safe to take a bath or shower, but be careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.
Onondaga County residents who would like to receive community alerts by wireless phones, text messages, and/or TTY may register for the Hyper-Reach Emergency Notification System through the Department of Emergency Communications—911 Center at www.ongov.net/911/notification.html. Landlines are already included in the 911 emergency notification system.
For more information and updates visit http://www.ongov.net/health/env/boilwater.html or call the Onondaga County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health at 315.435.6600.