CANTON — A boil water advisory was issued for the City of Canton's drinking water after E. coli was found in the water supply Saturday.
An announcement to the city's Facebook page posted just before 4:30 p.m. cautioned residents to boil water before use. E. coli can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms and may pose a special health risk for infants, young children and people with severely compromised immune systems.
"We are chlorinating and flushing the water system" the city wrote in its Facebook post. "We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water."
Water samples are taken quarterly and submitted to the Minnesota Department of Public Health. The city wrote that there are no known related illnesses reported to the city or the state related to the contamination. The boil water advisory is standard procedure when contamination is detected.
Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source. It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes) or a failure in the water treatment process.
The city advises water users to bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute and let it cool before using or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice.
For more information, Canton City Hall can be reached during normal business hours at (507) 743-5000. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Hotline can also provide general guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes at (800) 426-4791.