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Boil-water advisory remains in effect today

Officials expect Brookhaven to remain under a boil-water alert alert today and most of Tuesday.

Samples are being collected this morning and will be sent to the state Health Department for testing, said Ralph Augimeri with Mitchell Technical Services, which is contracted to operate the Brookhaven Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“Hopefully tomorrow we’ll hear something,” he said. “They’ll get to the lab about 2 and it will be at least 24 hours after that (before they get the results).”

Samples were collected Sunday as well.

Liz Sharlot, director of communications for the state Department of Health, said Friday that the state needs to see “two days of clear samples” before the advisory can be lifted.

She said as soon as the sample tests show there is no presence of E. coli or coliform bacteria, the advisory will be removed. 

Customers can go to healthyms.com and search under boil-water notices for the latest status for Brookhaven, she said.

The entire city of Brookhaven is under a boil-water alert issued by the Mississippi State Department of Water because routine water samples showed the presence of E. coli and total coliform bacteria, which is a serious heath concern according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Those bacteria in the water samples indicate that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term effects such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children and people with severely compromised immune systems.

The presence of these bacteria in water generally results from a problem with the treatment process or pipes which distribute the water.

Health officials strongly recommend that all water be boiled vigorously for one minute before it is consumed.  

Checklist for safe water use:

DO NOT
• Do not drink tap water while the water system is under a boil water advisory.
• Do not drink from water fountains in parks, public or private buildings that receive water from the affected system.
• Do not use ice unless it has been made with boiled water. Freezing will not necessarily kill harmful bacteria.
• Do not use tap water to make drinks, juices, or fountain soft drinks.

DO
• Wash your dishes in boiled water, or use paper plates for the next few days.
• Wash your fruits and vegetables with boiled or bottled water since they may have been exposed to affected water from grocery store sprayers.
• Wash your hands and bathe as usual. Bathing is safe as long as no water is swallowed.
• Brush your teeth with boiled or bottled water.
• Cook with tap water if the food will be boiled for at least one minute.

AND REMEMBER:
• Properly chlorinated water in swimming pools is safe.
• Fish in aquariums are not affected.
• Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will inactivate all major types of harmful bacteria.

WHEN THE BOIL-WATER ALERT IS LIFTED:
• Flush faucets for a total of 10 minutes to introduce system water throughout house plumbing.
• Flush any faucet a minimum of 2 minutes to ensure clearing of the line serving the faucet.
• Discard any drinks, ice, food, etc, made during the boil water notice.
• Rewash any food or drink contact items (knives, forks, plates, etc.) with “cleared” system water.
• Check water filters (in faucets, refrigerators and elsewhere) and replace if necessary.
• Do not use water from your hot water heater for drinking until several exchanges of the tank have occurred.
• Run dishwasher through a cycle or two before washing dishes.