People in the New Hampshire communities of Hampton, North Hampton and Rye are being advised to boil their water before using it.
E. coli bacteria were detected in water sampled Wednesday, the Aquarion Water Company said in a statement Friday. The company warned that water should be boiled until further notice.
Any water used for drinking, brushing teeth, cleaning produce, preparing food, washing dishes or making infant formula or ice should be boiled first, the company said. Residents can also use bottled water, instead.
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Water in the system is disinfected before it reaches customers, according to Aquarion.
The presence of E. coli indicates that water could be contaminated with fecal matter, which may contain harmful pathogens. Aquarion notes that effects could include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches and other symptoms. Elderly people, young children and those with compromised immune systems could be at greater risk.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about E. coli on its website.