The Rhode Island Department of Health has issued a boil water advisory for customers of the Prudence Island Water District (PIWD).
The Department of Health recommends that water used for bathing of infants, drinking, making ice, brushing teeth or cooking be boiled for one minute and allowed to cool before using. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Bottled water may also be used.
Water system tests confirmed the presence of E. Coli in the public water supply. The water department is working closely with the state to correct the problem as soon as possible.
The presence of E. Coli bacteria indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes.
These bacteria can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea or headaches. Infants, young children, the elderly and anyone with a weakened immune system are at an increased risk for developing more severe symptoms.
Consumers who experience any of these symptoms, even if tap water has been avoided, should call their healthcare provider.
This boil water advisory is in effect until further notice from the Department of Health.
Customers of the Prudence Island Water District are asked to contact neighbors who may not be aware of this advisory.
For information, contact the Prudence Island Water District at (401) 835-0475. For general information about drinking water, contact the state Department of Health's Information Line at (401) 222-5960, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For information on guidelines for food establishments during and after a boil water advisory, visit http://www.health.ri.gov/environment/dwq/boiladvisory.php.