TIME cities

Portland’s E. Coli Scare Has Residents Boiling Tap Water

All tap water used for drinking, tooth brushing, cooking or ice should be boiled for at least one minute

Portland has issued a notice advising residents to boil tap water after samples taken from the city’s water system tested positive for the bacteria E. coli.

Residents are advised to boil for at least one minute any water used to drink, make ice or cook.

“While we believe at this time that the potential health risk is relatively small, we take any contamination seriously and are taking every precaution to protect public health,” Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff said in a statement.

“The chance of any health problems related to this water test result is low. If any problems occur, we would expect diarrhea,” said Dr. Paul Lewis, a county health officer.

Contamination in the water system can occur due to a loss of water pressure, a broken pipe or any conditions that expose drinking water to the elements, according to a statement from the city.

Residents will be informed when it’s ok to use water without boiling it first.

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