Tigard residents told to boil water after positive E. coli test

Tigard residents told to boil water after positive E. coli test »Play Video


UPDATE: Tigard Police said the boil water advisory was lifted Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. and tap water was safe to drink and use as normal.

TIGARD, Ore. – Residents in much of Tigard, plus Durham, King City and Bull Mountain were told to boil their water on Wednesday after tests for E. coli came up positive.

Tigard police say customers in the Tigard Water Service Area need to boil all of their water to kill bacteria that could be present.

Tap water that will be used for drinking, food prep, brushing teeth, washing dishes or making ice should be heated to a full boil for at least one minute. That will kill the bacteria found during testing, police said.

Any ice or beverages made with water after Sunday, November 18 should be thrown out.

Two routine water samples collected Monday first turned up the possible contamination. Follow-up samples taken on Tuesday also tested positive for E. coli and coliform, city officials said.

The tests show that the water may be contaminated with human or animal waste.

"It's just bad timing, especially when you have family," said Angela Kingery. "You don't want to be skirting around it."

While the tests showed E. coli was present, the specific strain isn’t clear. City officials said the strains associated with serious illness are rarely found in water supplies.

"We have a toddler and a baby so we're just going to make sure that they have safe water to drink, and we have a bottle washing station," said Kingery.

It’s not clear how the bacteria got in the water.

Crews began flushing the water system on Wednesday morning. Once it’s flushed, the water will be tested again, police said.

The city plans to get those results on Thursday morning. They will notify customers when it’s safe to stop boiling water.

"We're worried about the showering, we are worried about bathing the toddlers, so that's the part I'm worried about," Kingery said.

Tualatin Valley Water District customers, including the cities of Tualatin and Bridgeport, are not part of the boil water notice.

City of Tigard website