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Alert: Boil-Water Order from Water Authority of Western Nassau County

Collected water sample tests positive for E. coli bacteria.

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).

Kathleen Conway July 21, 2011 at 03:52 AM
I am a customer of WAWNC. I heard of this situation through a neighbor's phone call at 10 p.m. tonight. I think it is a disgrace that no one form the water authority contacted customers to advise them of this health hazard. Shame on them! I am sure I would have heard from them promptly if my bill payment was late.
nicolina balducci July 21, 2011 at 04:02 AM
Why weren't we told of this as soon as they learn the water was contaminated. Not that we find out two days later. What a disgrace. Shame on the water authority and the county officials.
Yoda July 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM
They Nassau County Officials were to busy watching the traffic cameras so they could collect money to fund their corruption.
Barbara Berenger July 21, 2011 at 02:40 PM
I, too, am outraged that no notification has been given regarding this matter. We receive automated phone calls when politicians want our vote and also when the county is planning on spraying for West Nile but not when our water is contaminated. I don't understand the logic. Hopefully, enough residents are taking it upon themselves to notify our neighbors and warn them. Shame on Western Nassau Water Authority!!!!
Laura Cerrone July 21, 2011 at 03:04 PM
Should we also apply this to our pets? I'd imagine they can be affected by e.coli too?
Lynn Borowski July 21, 2011 at 11:16 PM
I called the County Executive's office this morning asking why a chain phone call wasn't put thru to the homes affected. Was connected with the Health Dept. and was told that it wasn't "their" responsibility to do this, but the Water Authority. I was totally shocked! So much for caring about your constituents. We certainly pay enough taxes in this county to spring for an important chain phone call. Not everyone is sitting at their computer waiting for an e-mail or logging into facebook or, listening to the radio for that matter. I was also told that someone from the Authority would be going door to door letting customers know. Did anyone out there hear a knock?
Yoda July 22, 2011 at 03:32 AM
The question is How did E-Coli get into the water, hello folks whats up with this
marie July 22, 2011 at 04:37 AM
All comments above are spot on! Shame on the Water Authority for not having a proper crisis communication plan in order! Shame on the county for not taking extra measures to notify residents in affected areas and shame on News Channel 12 for not making this one of their lead story- instead they gave more time to a story about a wild cat that ran through a town in India than they did the E.Coli situation- Are we kidding?? Marie

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