Phones across the Denver metro lit up around 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday with an an emergency alert from the City of Englewood about a possible exposure to E.coli in drinking water.
The City of Englewood issued a boil water advisory for Zone 1 of the city’s water distribution system. At the beginning of each month the city of Englewood collects 24 water quality samples at different water system sites across the city. On Aug. 3 and 4, one sample tested positive for E. coli.
If you are concerned about your water, or live in the affected area, the City of Englewood advises boiling water for three minutes. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation until further notice.
E. coli bacteria can make people sick and is of particular concern to people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include diarrhea, cramps, nausea or headaches.
The positive test came from a spigot at a home that the city regularly tests in, said Angela Goodman, Englewood’s deputy director of utilities. The tests take 24 hours to complete.
The utilities department will be “flushing the system” in Zone 1, which means workers will open fire hydrants and let the water empty out before testing for E. coli again.
The boil water notice is not for Denver water users
Residents of Denver and other nearby cities received the emergency alert on their phone. Goodman said the notification “unfortunately went out to too many people,” but added it’s “never a bad thing” to over communicate.
Travis Thomson, a spokesman for Denver Water says that Denver customers have not been impacted, and that Englewood water utility is “a completely separate system from Denver Water.”
“Our water is fine and unaffected from anything that happens in Englewood at this time,” Thompson told us.
Goodman also said Englewood has seen no indication that there’s anything wrong with the city’s water supply or treatment operations, and that the positive tests were likely a hyper-local issue.