The city of Philomath issued a warning late Wednesday morning that its water could be contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria. As a result, residents are asked to boil their water before using.
The Philomath Public Works Department reported a loss of water pressure in the city’s distribution system due to a break in the water line.
City sources said residents will be informed when tests show no bacteria and the boiling of water is no longer needed. Officials anticipate resolving the problem by the end of Thursday.
Bacteria that could possibly be present in the water supply can make people sick and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems, including infants and young children.
The city advises residents to boil water before drinking:
• Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one full minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water.
• Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
A release from the city states that potentially harmful bacteria include fecal coliforms and E. coli which are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes, the city reported. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms.
The release adds that the symptoms indicated above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. For those experiencing any of those symptoms and they persist, they may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice about drinking water from their health-care providers.
For the latest information, go to the city’s website at www.ci.philomath.or.us or call public works at 541-929-3579.