Boil water notice lifted for North Attleboro and Plainville after E. coli scare


The boil water notice was lifted Friday, two days after water samples tested positive for E. coli.

Water boil orders that were issued Thursday in the towns of North Attleboro and Plainville due to positive E. coli tests were lifted Friday afternoon.

Residents in both towns were told to boil any tap water before use after routine testing found traces of E. coli. The boil water order was lifted for both towns as of 4 p.m. Friday after further testing found that the town’s water was safe for public use.

Representatives from both towns worked with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass. DEP) after routine water samples from the raw part of the shared water system tested positive for E. coli on Wednesday. E. coli is a dangerous bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness.

“We would like to thank our residents for their cooperation and understanding since the boil water order was issued,” North Attleboro Town Manager Michael Borg said in a press release.  “We assure our residents that the water has been thoroughly tested and has been deemed safe for public use.”

The towns are working to uncover the source of the E. coli contamination. The boil water order applied to any water used by humans and pets for food, bathing, and other hygienic activities. People were asked to boil the water for at least a minute before using it. Both towns made bottled water available to residents. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, E. coli infections can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Most people recover in five to seven days. However, some infections can be life-threatening.

“Officials from our respective towns worked diligently to address the issue that was discovered earlier in the week and we thank Mass. DEP for their support while the issue was resolved,” Plainville Town Manager Brian Noble said. “We would also like to thank everyone who helped distribute water over the past two days for residents in need.”

Residents with questions or concerns can contact the North Attleboro Department of Public Works at 508-695-7790 and the Plainville Department of Public Works at 508-699-2071.

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