Texoma E. coli Water Warning Expanded - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Texoma E. coli Water Warning Expanded

Newschannel 6 is working to confirm that a boil water order is being expanded in Wilbarger County. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) tells Newschannel six the boil water order is in place for the Hinds Water System, Locket Water System, Northside Water Supply Corporation, Oklaunion Water System and the Box Community Water System. However, Red River Authority officials said they are only aware of a boil water order in place for Hinds.

Officials said water samples were taken from a water well in Hinds on Sept. 14th. Test results came back positive for E. coli contamination on Oct. 7th, and the boil water notices were put in place Oct. 8th.

These bacteria can make you sick, and are a particular concern for infants, young children and people with weakened immune systems.

In addition to the bacteria, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the water supply has exceeded the maximum contaminant level for nitrates.

While E. coli can be boiled away, nitrates can not. The Red River Authority says that rural residents receive statements four times a year regarding the nitrate problem.

These bacteria can make you sick, and are a particular concern for infants, young children and people with weakened immune systems.

Here is more information sent to Newschannel 6 in a notice from Red River Authority's Hinds-Wildcat Water System: 

WHAT SHOULD I DO? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

• Fecal indicators are microbes whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term health effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice from their health care providers about drinking this water.

Additionally, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has notified the water system that the drinking water being supplied to customers had exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for NITRATE. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has established the MCL for NITRATE at 10 mg/L, and has determined that it is a health concern at levels above the MCL. Analysis of drinking water in your community for NITRATE indicates a level of 14.6 mg/L. Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome. If your child is under the age of six months, the child must be given an alternative water supply for any consumption. Boiling the affected water is not an effective treatment for nitrate removal. In this situation, the TCEQ recommends that mothers use an alternative water supply for young children. If you are pregnant, you may also choose to use an alternative source of water for drinking and cooking purposes.

Red River Authority is working with TCEQ and the groundwater provider to resolve this problem as soon as possible.

We will inform you when tests show no bacteria. We anticipate resolving the problem within the next week. For more information, please contact Red River Authority at (940) 723-8697. 

General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

This notice is being sent to you by Red River Authority's Hinds-Wildcat Water System. Public Water System ID#: 2440005.

Mary Moloney, Newschannel 6

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