California town's residents told to boil water for 10th straight day due to E. coli outbreak

The notice began on July 12.

July 21, 2023, 2:15 PM

A boil water advisory has dragged into its 10th day in a California town where E. coli was found in drinking water.

Burney residents are advised to use only boiled tap water or bottled drinking water for drinking and cooking, according to the Burney Water District. The notice has been in effect since July 12.

Burney is a popular tourist town in Northern California, and the location of the renowned Burney Falls.

The district said it is using chlorine to disinfect the water system and will be monitoring for chlorine residuals.

The district said it began flushing the chlorine from the system on Monday and Tuesday and will begin testing for the E. coli and total coliform, another form of bacteria, over two different days.

PHOTO: In this undated file photo, a scanning electron micrograph of E.coli bacteria is shown.
In this undated file photo, a scanning electron micrograph of E.coli bacteria is shown.
Science Photo Library via Getty Images, FILE

The Burney Water District said it added sodium hypochlorite to the water storage tanks and injection points at the district wells last week to disinfect the water distribution system.

After state drinking water regulators review the information collected as part of flushing out the system, new samples will be collected to test for E. coli and total coliform. The state will then review the test results to determine whether to lift the boil water advisory.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting, according for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some people may have a fever, which usually is not very high and most people get better within five to seven days.

Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening, according to the CDC.

A representative for the water district said they are working on resolving the issue but are not aware when the notice will be lifted.