Boil order lifted in Englewood following discovery of E. coli; here’s what to do before using water

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — (Update: 11:55 a.m. Friday): The City of Englewood announced Friday that the drinking water advisory has been lifted following the boil order earlier this week.

“The City did retest the same sample location and it came back negative for E.coli and total Coliform,” said Englewood Director of Utilities Pieter Van Ry. “Upon receipt of that negative result, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) allowed the City to lift the boil water order. The water is safe to consume once people flush their systems.”

Customers in Zone 1 can once again use tap water for all purposes. 

What to do before using water:

Before using the tap water, the City of Englewood advises customers to first throw out ice, flush faucets and flush other appliances to ensure removal of all potentially contaminated water.   

“Englewood followed the appropriate protocols and required regulatory processes that have been established for decades. On Aug. 2, the City of Englewood collected 11 water samples according to routine water monitoring processes,” said Ron Falco, safe drinking water program manager for CDPHE. “The lab provided results on Aug. 3 indicating E.coli at one sample location. So, on Aug. 2 drinking water contamination was tentatively identified. Such tentative identification requires repeat sampling to confirm the situation, as single false-positive test results do occur. The city completed the repeat sampling process on Aug. 3. The results received on Aug. 4 confirmed the presence of E.coli in drinking water in the affected area highlighted on this map, and that’s when we issued the boil advisory. Based on these facts, i.e. one positive test result among so many negative test results, the city took the proper steps and conducted the public notice at the right time,” Falco added. 

“The health and safety of our community is of paramount importance to us as a public water provider.  We understand that this issue has caused disruption to our customers and appreciate their patience and understanding as we have worked to correct the issue.  When a system issue such as this occurs, our top priority is keeping the community safe,” said Utilities Director Pieter Van Ry. 

Residential Instructions 

  • Flush the plumbing in your home by running all cold water faucets for at least five minutes each. Begin with the lowest faucet in your home or business and then open the other faucets one at a time, moving from your lowest floor to your highest. After five minutes, turn off your faucets in reverse order, from highest to lowest. 
  • Flush all appliances connected to the water line, like refrigerators and dishwashers.  
  • Disposable filters that have come in contact with contaminated water should be removed and replaced.  
  • Ice from ice makers should be dumped and replaced three times. Ice maker containers should be wiped clean with a solution of two tablespoons bleach to one gallon of water. 

Businesses, Hospitals, Health Care Facilities & Nursing Homes Instructions 

  • Make sure equipment with water line connections are flushed, cleaned, and sanitized according to manufacturers’ instructions. 
  • Managers of large buildings with water-holding reservoirs should consult with their facility engineer and health department about draining the reservoir. 
  • Flush pipes and faucets. Run cold water faucets continuously for at least 5 minutes. 
  • Flush drinking fountains. Run water continuously for at least 5 minutes. 
  • Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle. 
  • Drain and refill hot water heaters set below 113°F. 
  • Change all point-of-entry and point-of-use water filters, including those associated with equipment that uses water. 
  • Resume usual bathing practices and care for patients with breaks in the skin. 

Earlier story:

Earlier this week the City of Englewood announced a boil order for Zone One of the city’s water distribution system after E. coli bacteria was found in a water sample.

On Friday, the City of Englewood announced that it will provide an update on the boil order.

We’re going to have an update later today. We’ll be sure and include you. This is what we’re posting now on our social media and website:

“Thank you to all of our residents for your patience during the Englewood Zone 1 water boil advisory. We will have an update regarding the situation later today. The city’s water distribution site at the Englewood Civic Center, 1000 Englewood Parkway is open today until 10 p.m. and will continue to be open until the boil advisory is lifted. We will inform you when tests show the absence of bacteria, and we have been given the all clear from CDPHE. The city has the public’s health and safety in mind at all times, and our residents are our top priority.”

The positive test means the water may be contaminated with human or animal waste, which can lead to short term health effects including diarrhea, cramps, nausea and headaches.

See if your neighborhood falls into the boundaries through this Englewood map. Zone One is shaded pink in the map:

People can find out if they’re impacted by the order at this website or call the city at (303) 762-2365.

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