The roughly two dozen residents of Granite have been told to boil their water after E. coli contamination was found in the city's water system.
Granite officials say a water sample collected last week contained E. coli bacteria, which is spread through animal feces and can cause diarrhea, cramps and nausea. Healthy adults usually recover quickly, but E. coli can be fatal to the very old and the very young.
The contamination is the latest in a series of problems that have plagued the water system over the past two years, the Baker City Herald reported.
In February 2006, a water sample from the town &
located in eastern Grant County about 45 miles by road from Baker City &
contained E. coli.
The Oregon Department of Human Services recommended that Granite residents boil their tap water. Although subsequent samples later tested clean, the recommendation remained in effect for some time because of poor water pressure.
Granite officials were concerned that the lack of pressure could create suction in the city's pipes that could suck bacteria-contaminated dirt into the water system.
This time, Granite officials think the sources of the bacteria are storage tanks that hold water from a spring that is the city's supplementary water supply. Granite recently switched to the spring from the well because the water tastes better, said Bill Goss, who works for the Department of Human Services in Pendleton. But Goss said the underground, plastic tanks are not in good condition.
Boil advisory issued after E. coli found in water