West St. Paul residents should refrain from drinking tap water over next 24 hours

Categories: Health, St. Paul
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Over at least the next 24 hours, West St. Paul residents should refrain from drinking tap water and use bottled water instead, according to the St. Paul Regional Water Services.

Residents served by the pump station at Bidwell Street and Logan Avenue (see a map of the affected area, highlighted in green, here) should use bottled water for making ice, brushing teeth, and preparing food until notified by the utility. As of now, this is a precautionary measure.

Electrical outages during last night's storms might have caused low pressure at the pump station. With low or no pressure, harmful bacteria such as E. Coli can enter the water system.

Potential symptoms related to fecal or E. Coli in drinking water can include diarrhea, cramps, nausea and headaches. These symptoms pose a special health risk to infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

These symptoms are not only caused by bacteria in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical attention.

"Employees of St. Paul Regional Water Services are working to resolve the problem, and we will keep the public informed of any progress," said Steve Schneider, general manager. "We will inform you when test show no bacteria and a positive chlorine residual throughout the distribution system. We anticipate solving the problem within 24 hours."

For more information, contact the St. Paul Regional Water Service at (651) 266-6350 or waterinquiries@stpaul.gov. General guidelines on ways to decrease the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

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