BOIL WATER ORDER LIFTED FOR BARNSTABLE WATER DEPARTMENT
By: Laura M. Reckford
The Barnstable Water Department is advising all its water customers that it is no longer necessary to
boil their drinking water. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has lifted
the Boil Water order for Barnstable Water Department effective at 5:30 PM on Wednesday July 21.
“We have worked closely with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection over the last
5 days, and we have completed inspections and water quality sampling to resolve the contamination
problem,” Jon Erickson, Water Department Superintendent, stated. “We are pleased to be able to
report that customers may once again drink their water.”
In the course of performing routine monthly bacteria sampling, Standpipe #2 was found to contain E.
Coli. and Total Coliform bacteria. The standpipe was immediately taken out of service, cleaned and
chlorinated. The distribution system was also chlorinated. Repeat samples were taken continuously
over a period of five days and they were found to be absent of bacteria.
The Water Department is mailing a letter to all customers with guidelines to be followed at the end of a
boiled water order. Residents are advised to flush their water to clear plumbing of potentially
contaminated water. Equipment that has not been used over the last five days should be flushed until
there is a change in water temperature. Complete instructions on the proper steps to take at the
conclusion of Boil-Water orders at:
Customers with questions are encouraged to visit the Town of Barnstable Web Site
(http://www.town.barnstable.ma.us) or call the Water Department office at 508-362-6498.
Customers are advised to share this information with all people who drink their water, especially those
who may not have received this notification directly (for example, tenants, guests, vacationers, people
in apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses).
The Water Department apologizes for the inconvenience this has caused and we appreciate the
support and cooperation of our customers throughout this difficult period, stated Peter Eleftherakis, Chairman, Barnstable Fire District Prudential Committee.
Instructions for Post-Boil-Water Orders
Residents are advised to "flush" their water following the lifting of a boil order in order to
clear plumbing of potentially contaminated water. Flushing your household and building
water lines includes interior and exterior faucets, showers, water and ice dispensers, water
treatment units, etc. Please use the following guidance:
Cold Water Faucets: Run tap water until the water feels cold, one minute or more, before drinking,
tooth-brushing, or using for food preparation. If you have a single-lever faucet, set it to run the cold
Hot Water Faucets: To clear hot-water pipes and water heater of untreated water, change all
faucets to hot water and flush for a minimum of 15 minutes for a typical household 40-gallon hotwater
tank, 30 minutes for an 80-gallon hot water tank or larger. Hot water is then safe to use for
washing hands, and for hand-washing of dishes, pots and pans, etc. Never use water from the "hot"
faucet for drinking, cooking, or other internal-consumption purposes.
Dishwashers: After flushing hot water pipes and water heater, run dishwasher empty one time.
Humidifiers: Discard any water used in humidifiers, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP),
oral, medical or health care devices, and rinse the device with clean water.
Food and baby formula: Discard baby formula and other foods prepared with water on any of the
days during which the boil order was in effect (Friday July 18 through Wednesday July 23).
Refrigerator water-dispensing machine: Water dispensers from refrigerators should be flushed
with at least one quart of water. If unsure of your dispenser's capacity, refer to manufacturer
Ice cubes: Automatic ice dispensers should be emptied of ice made during the boil order and run
through a 24-hour cycle, discarding the ice to assure purging of the icemaker water supply line. For
medical, dental, and food-service establishments, please refer to the guidance on the Massachusetts
Department of Public Health
Due to the flushing of the lines by residents and the flushing of the hydrants, some customers may
experience a lack of water pressure and/or discolored water. However, this is an expected result and
does not pose an immediate health risk. Contact Barnstable Water Department at 508-362-6498 if
you have any questions.
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