Salmonella-TapWater 03-25 Web

Contaminated water treated

Crews started pumping chlorine through Alamosa’s water system Tuesday to rid it of salmonella bacteria that has sickened nearly 250 people.

Residents will not be able to drink the water until the last of the disinfecting chemical washes out of the water system, possibly a couple of weeks, officials said.

The first salmonella victim began showing symptoms around March 8, and state health officials became aware of the outbreak a week later.

Salmonella is usually a food-borne disease and contamination of public water systems is rare. There were only 15 such cases between 1971 and 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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