UPDATED: DPH LIFTS Boil Water Order for Customers of Broadkiln Beach & PrimeHook Water Companies

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UPDATED – 7/24/18  2:35pm – The Division of Public Health is lifting the boil water notice for customers of the Broadkiln and PrimeHook Water Companies.  DPH officials sayThe second set of sample results came in today and those samples also tested negative for Total Coliform and E. Coli. Residents can resume drinking their water immediately.

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UPDATED – 7/23/18 3:30pm – The boil water order remains in effect for customers of the Broadkiln Beach and PrimeHook Water Companies. Public Health officials tell WGMD that water samples collected on Friday after a chlorine treatment system was installed showed negative results for Total Coliform and E. coli, however one positive test result requires two samples to be negative before consumers can begin drinking the water again without first needing to boil.

Public Health officials say the second set of samples are being collected today – and the results are expected on Tuesday. The boil water notice affects about 1700 customers of the Broadkiln Beach and PrimeHook Water Companies.

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The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) has advised the operator of Broadkiln Beach Water Company located in Sussex County to issue a boil water notice to customers after water samples collected from the system tested positive for the presence of E-coli bacteria on Friday, July 20. Because the Broadkiln Beach Water Company shares a connection with PrimeHook Water Company, anyone who uses drinking water from either system should not drink the water without boiling it first.

Consumers are advised to bring the water to a boil (212 degrees F), let it boil for a minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills the bacteria and other organisms in the water. It is safe to use the water for bathing/showering and for washing clothes.

The water system operator is required by state law to notify all consumers of the contamination and the boil water notice. The well and the distribution system are currently being disinfected and flushed, and a chlorine treatment system has been put in place by the system operator. The DPH Office of Drinking Water (ODW) will alert the water system operator when bacteria is no longer present, and the public will be informed when boiling water is no longer needed.

E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, and people with severely compromised immune systems. The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, contact your health care provider. People at increased risk should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.

Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source (for example following heavy rains). It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes) or a failure in the water treatment process.

For more information about E-coli, visit http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/files/ecolifaq.pdf or https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/disease/e_coli.html.

 A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH.  The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.