Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Air Quality Warning: Phoenix, Arizona

The state's air regulatory department issued a heath warning for Tuesday and Wednesday (11/13 - 11/14), anticipating high levels of particulate matter in the air.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality officials suggest people with ususually sensitive breathing issues consider staying indoors or limiting outside exertion. Particulate matter is defined as solid and liquid particles in the air, both from natural and manmade sources. Particles with diameters of less than 10 micrometers, known as PM-10, pose the greatest health risk because they accumulate in respiratory systems.

For more please visit

Water Warning: Contaminated Water at Dog Beach - San Diego, CA

Warning signs about contaminated water are being posted at Dog Beach near the San Diego River outlet. The contamination was caused by a 5,000 gallon spill at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest. The spill entered a storm drain that flows into a canyon north of the San Diego River.

More details about the oil spill here -

Monday, November 12, 2007

Water Warning: Boil Water Order for West Palm Beach, Florida - AGAIN!

After a city worker shut the wrong pump valve, causing the pressure to drop and leaving water vulnerable to contamination, the city was forced to issue a boil water order for West Palm Beach, Mayor Lois Frankel said.

Test results taken on Sunday do not show evidence of contamination but water officials wanted to make sure there was no contamination and that no one would get sick. This is the second boil water order for west palm beach in just over a month.

City officials say the order will most likely be lifted by the end of monday

Water Warning: Boil Water Order for Hyannis, Massachusetts

Hyannis residents are being advised to boil their tap water before using, because of E. coli and coliform bacteria found in the system.

Town officials say routine testing showed the bacteria in a water storage tank.
People are being advised to use boiled or bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation.

Boiling for at least one minute kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
E. coli and coliform bacteria indicates the water may be contaminated with animal or human waste. Ingestion can cause diarrhea, nausea and headaches.

Infants, young children, elderly and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to become ill.

Town officials are flushing the system but don't have a timetable for when the water will again be safe for use.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Water Warning: Boil Water Order for Dungannon, Virginia

The Virginia Department of Health in conjunction with the Scott County Health Department and the Town of Dungannon Water System advise residents to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a safety precaution. This precaution is necessary because the water system has been taken off-line for repairs, which will result in lower pressures and may allow contaminated water to enter the distribution system.

Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, beverage and food preparation, and making ice until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Boiling is the preferred method to assure that the tap water is safe to drink. Bring all tap water to a rolling boil, let it boil for one minute and let it cool before using, or use bottled water.

Residents are advised to turn the power off to water heaters or they may drain and overheat causing permanent damage or fire.

If you cannot boil your tap water:

An alternative purification method for residents without gas or electricity is to use liquid household bleach to disinfect water. The bleach product should be recently purchased, free of additives and scents and should contain a hypochlorite solution of at least 5.25%. Public health officials recommend adding eight drops of bleach (about 1/4 teaspoon) to each gallon of water. The water should be stirred and allowed to stand for at least 30 minutes before use.

Water purification tablets may also be used by following the manufacturer's instructions.

Potable water is available at the Town Hall/Depot from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Elderly or handicapped persons unable to pick up water can call (276) 467-2522 for delivery.

The VDOH will inform residents when they no longer need to boil water. To address the problem, they are locating and reparing a broken water line. Citizens will be notified when the situation is resolved and the water is safe for consumption and use.

For more information contact Ray Blevins, P.O. Box 278, Dungannon, VA 24245, or call (276) 467-2522.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Baltimore Schools Installing Water Coolers to Combat Lead Contamination

After 15 years of trying to remove the lead from public school drinking fountains, the Baltimore school system is choosing instead to install water coolers which will use purified bottled water.

Yesterday's announcement came after the city Health Department discovered that 10 fountains that had passed previous tests still contained unacceptably high levels of lead. Once schools chief Andres Alonso learned that it would be cheaper to provide bottled water to all schools than to continue lead testing, he said, the decision was a "no-brainer".

The Health Department collected water samples last month from 84 randomly selected fountains, all of which had passed previous inspections. While 74 of the fountains had lead levels below the limit of 20 parts per billion, 10 fountains had levels above the maximum allowed.

The 10 fountains, which were immediately turned off, were at four schools: City College, Carver Vocational-Technical High, Frederick Douglass High and Northwood Elementary. All those schools had bottled water already, so officials said students likely were not drinking regularly from the fountains.

For more information click the title link.

Boil Water Order Issued for Leakesville, Mississippi

The state Health Department has issued a boil-water alert for customers who receive their drinking water from the town of Leakesville. This affects about 1,500 customers in the city limits and east of the Chickasawhay River in Leakesville.

Water should be boiled vigorously for at least one minute before it is consumed.

Water system officials told the health department that there was pressure loss from one or more line breaks. When a distribution system loses pressure, contaminants can siphon back into the water.

Public health officials consider any system with pressure loss to be contaminated until tests prove otherwise.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

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Monday, November 5, 2007

Hawaii Flood Water Contamination Warning

Hawaii State health officials are warning people to stay out of flood waters that may be contaminated from overflowing cesspools, sewer manholes, animal waste, pesticides and flood debris.
People should also stay out of coastal waters that also may be affected by heavy rain, flooding and storm water runoff near stream mouths and drainage ditches, health officials said.

The Wahiawa Wastewater Treatment Plant had 5,000 gallons of sewage overflow and 11,200 more gallons of sewage overflowed from a manhole at Keolu Drive and Hele Street in Kailua.

Officials don't know how much sewage spilled from another overflowing manhole on Olepe Loop near the Waimalu Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Water Warning: Boil Water Order for Wyoming, Michigan

Some people who live in Wyoming will have to boil their water after the city found E-coli and coliform bacteria in a sample.

The sample taken near R.W. Berends Drive on Thursday tested positive for the bacteria Saturday. The city has to let the sample incubate for 48 hours before testing it.

Because of the test results, the City of Wyoming issued a boil water order for residents and businesses in a small section of the city bordered between 44th Street, Burlingame and R.W. Berends Drive.

This also includes all residents living along R.W. Berends Drive.

City officials say the presence of coliform and E-coli bacteria indicates the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. The contamination can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms. They may also pose a health risk for infants, young children and people with severely compromised immune systems.

The city's Utilities Department is collecting other samples for testing and will do that until the tests come back negative, but the boil water order could remain in place until at least Tuesday.

The city has set up a bottled water pickup in the parking lot of the Wyoming Cattle Company Restaurant, near the intersection of R.W. Berends Drive and 44th Street.

For more information about E-coli bacteria, click here.

For more information about the detection and diagnosis of E-coli bacteria, click here.