A boil water advisory is in place in Wilmington, Massachusetts, after E. coli bacteria was detected in the water system.
The bacteria can make people sick, especially children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. It's a sign that fecal matter may have made its way into Wilmington's water system.
Wilmington residents should not drink or use tap water without first boiling it for at least one minute, which kills the bacteria and other organisms, the city's Water & Sewer Division said. Any ice, baby formula, drinks or uncooked food made with tap water from Wednesday or later should be thrown out.
The boil water advisory is in place until further notice, but the town expects the problem to resolve "within a few days," officials said in a statement.
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Read the boil water notice, with tips — including what people should do when bathing — here:
E. coli was first detected in the Hillside Storage Tank on Tuesday, and follow-up testing of samples collected Wednesday confirmed it, according to the town.
"E.coli is a common bacterium found in all animals, including humans. When it is found in water it is usually associated with fecal matter and indicates there could be a public health problem," according to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.