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Boil Water Order Lifted in Reading, Mass. Following E. Coli Discovery

On Saturday, a water sample from a Cumberland Farms was found to be contaminated with E. coli

A boil water order was lifted Monday in Reading, Massachusetts, two days after the water department warned residents they had detected E. coli bacteria in drinking water.

The town announced sample results determined the drinking water no longer poses a threat. Residents are urged to "flush" their water to clear plumbing of any leftover contaminated water.

Cold water faucets should run until the water feels cold, at least for a minute, before anyone uses it to drink, brush their tooth or use it for food. Hot water faucets should run for 15 minutes if a household uses a 40-gallon water tank and 30 minutes or an 80-gallon tank or larger.

Humidifiers should be discarded, as should baby formula and other foods that were prepared with water during the order.

On Saturday, a water sample from a Cumberland Farms was found to be contaminated, prompting Reading officials to issue a boil water order. As a result, the town had a limited bottled water distribution.

E. coli is a bacteria that can make people sick and is a concern for those with a weakened immune system.

Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source, for example, following heavy rains. It can also happen due to a break in the pipes or a failure in the water treatment process.

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