The water supply in Brian Head, Utah, a popular getaway for Las Vegas Valley residents, has been found to be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, and town officials are advising residents to take precautions to ensure the safety of their drinking water.
An advisory issued Thursday by the town instructed residents to drink bottled water or boil their water for one minute before letting it cool and using it. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms that may be in the water, and officials said residents should continue this practice “until further notice.”
The presence of E. coli bacteria indicates the water was contaminated with human or animal waste.
Many types of E. coli — an abbreviation for Escherichia coli — are benign, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though some kinds can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia.
Those at greatest risk are infants, young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. Anyone experiencing these symptoms persistently should seek medical advice, officials said.
Brian Head’s water supply is being flushed and chlorinated, and sampling for E. coli and similar bacteria will be increased to determine the source of the contamination. Officials said the problem is expected to be resolved in the coming days.