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Natick issues boil water order after E. coli found in water samples

Natick issued a boil water order Wednesday after E. coli was found in water samples collected Tuesday, officials said.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection removed the water sources that tested positive for E. coli from operation and increased water disinfection treatments, the town said in a statement.

The bacteria was found in 9 out of 12 sampling sites in the water system on Tuesday, the statement said. It was also detected in a sample of untreated water from the Elm Bank source, which is treated before use.

Residents are advised to boil tap water for at least 1 minute, the statement said. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, food preparation, brushing teeth, and washing dishes.


People should also discard all ice, beverages, uncooked meals, and formula made with tap water on or after Jan. 5, the statement said.

Follow-up and water quality samples will be taken immediately, the statement said.

“The results of this testing and system analysis will determine the cause of the positive results,” the statement said. “The Department hopes to resolve this inconvenience within the next few days.”

E. coli is a bacteria that can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, and other symptoms, the statement said. The bacteria poses special health risks for infants, young children, some elderly people, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

Andrew Stanton can be reached at andrew.stanton@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewstanton.