A boil-water order has been issued by the Water Authority of Western Nassau County.
This authority services parts of New Hyde Park and North New Hyde Park.
According to an alert posted on the authority's website, a water sample collected on July 18 tested positive for E. coli bacteria near N. Fletcher Avenue and Dutch Broadway in North Valley Stream. The bacteria can make you sick, especially infants and those with weakened immune systems.
A resampling July 19 detected no E. coli. or Total Coliform bacteria; however, the Water Authority said a location near N. Fletcher Avenue and Dutch Broadway tested positive for Total Coliform bacteria, but negative for E. coli - which triggered the notification.
Nassau County's department also took samples from the authority's distribution system July 19 but found no traces of either E. coli or Total Coliform bacteria.
Further, all well and water storage tanks that supply water to the area were also sampled Tuesday. There were no detections of E. coli or Total Coliform bacteria in any of those samples, according to the notification.
Water Authority officials believe this is a "localized issue" and will be flushing water mains in the contaminated areas and increasing the chlorine levels to disinfect the distribution system.
Samples will continue to be taken from the wells, storage tanks and treatment facilities that supply water to the affected area as well as in the distribution system.
Until further notice, residents should boil water or use bottled water before drinking it, making ice, washing dishes, burshing their teeth or preparing food. Discard any ice made after July 18, turn off ice makers and disinfect once the order is lifted.
Symptoms to watch out for:
The presence of E. coli indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can pose significant health risks, especially for infants, young children, the elderly and those with "severely compromised immune systems." Symptoms can include diarrhea, cramps, nausea and headaches.
For more information, contact the authority's at 516-327-4100 or the Nassau County Health Department at 516-227-9692 or after hours at 516-742-6154. Further, guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1(800) 426-4791).