Florence water supply tests positive for E. coli

August 22, 2012

Residents in the Florence area are being asked to boil their drinking water or used bottled water until further notice.
Johnson Utilities, which provides water to the lower East Valley, has found traces of E.coli bacteria in the water supply.

Several schools in the Florence Unified District are also affected -- Circle Cross Ranch, Copper Basin, Magma Ranch, Poston Butte, Skyline Ranch and Walker Butte schools.

District spokeswoman Dana Hawman says many are concerned about the situation considering the initial test results were available last Thursday but the school wasn't notified until yesterday afternoon.

"Certainly there is concern within the community, however it's one of those things that as a school district all we can do is look forward and make sure that we take care of what we can affect right now," Hawman said.

Hawman also says Johnson Utilities will be covering the expense of the bottled water, as well as the water truck the district brought in for their water needs.

Johnson Utilities is conducting further tests today.  They say will alert customers when the alternative sources of water or boiling notification is lifted.

E. coli infection can happen to people of any age - very young children and the elderly are more likely to develop severe illness than others, but even healthy older children and adults can become seriously ill.  Symptoms can include diarrhea, cramps, nausea and headaches.

Johnson Utilities has issued more information.

Updated 8/22/2012 at 2:51 p.m.

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