Boil water advisory to remain in place until at least Thursday in Winnipeg after E.Coli confirmed in water samples
Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 5:34 PM - On Tuesday evening, officials issued a precautionary localized boil water advisory for the City of Winnipeg.
The advisory was imposed after samples taken on Monday tested positive for the presence of the E. Coli. bacteria.
Tests are routinely preformed on the city's water supply, with samples taken at more than 60 locations.
"The City took immediate action and resampled the locations that tested positive for bacteria, as well as sampled at additional adjacent locations," reads a press release. "Test results show that the chlorine levels at all 60 sampling locations surpass the requirement in the City’s Operating Licence. The City of Winnipeg is working with the Medical Officer of Health, Manitoba Health and the Office of Drinking Water to identify the cause of the atypical test results."
Additional samples taken Wednesday show the water is safe to drink but the boil water advisory will remain in place until additional tests are conducted Thursday
At a 3 p.m. press release, officials said the city said they're waiting on word from Manitoba's chief medical officer before the advisory is lifted.
In the meantime, residents are being advised to use bottled water for:
- drinking and making ice
- preparing beverages, including infant formula
- preparing food
- brushing teeth
Residents were reporting on social media that shortly after the statement, stores all across the city were sold out of bottled water.
Water sold out. Everywhere. #Winnipeg— Sheetal Vijayann (@sheetalvijayann) January 28, 2015
Common symptoms caused by E. Coli can include nausea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal related signs.
Hospitals in the city are preparing contingency plans in case the results on Wednesday confirm the presence of the bacteria. According to a statement released by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, surgeries would not be affected since all procedures are done using medical-grade water supply.
Hemodialysis does use the city water supply but throughout the process all bacteria, including E. Coli are filtered out.
Some schools took to social media to remind parents to take necessary precautions before sending their kids to school.
Due to water advisory: Parents please send bottled water with your kids tomorrow. Our fountains will be turned off but schools will be open— Pembina Trails SD (@PembinaTrails) January 28, 2015
This isn't the first time Winnipeg has had an E. Coli scare. In 2013 a similar situation occurred until it was determined there was no E. Coli in the water.
Additional information can be found at winnipeg.ca.