New Hampshire

3-Week Boil Water Order Ends in Rye, NH

Residents of Rye, New Hampshire, have had to boil water since Oct. 12 after unacceptable levels of E. coli were found in the system

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A boil water order in Rye, New Hampshire, has been lifted after more than three weeks.

About 75% of the town's businesses and residents were impacted by the order, which was first issued on Oct. 12.

"We're very excited to have ice back, coffee back, and all that good stuff," said Sylvia Cheever, owner of The Hungry Lobster.

"It's been a lot of boiling water," said resident Barbara Jennings. "I'm glad it's finally lifted."

Arik Jones, superintendent of the Rye Water District, says unacceptable levels of E. coli were found in the system, prompting the order. It took weeks of sample collection, processing and testing to get the all-clear Friday.

"We were putting in 12 to 16 hour days in order to accomplish this," said Jones.

Town officials are not sure of the source of the E. coli.

"We've got to find a smoking gun," said Phil Winslow, chair of the Board of Selectmen. "We're looking for it."

An outside team is being hired to figure out the source. While the investigation takes place, the town can get back to normal.

"It's been a long time coming," said Town Administrator Matthew Scruton. "We appreciate everybody's patience during this difficult time."

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