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E. coli scare prompts boil order in East Missoula trailer court

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:00:58 PM MST
Updated On: Dec 19 2013 11:11:28 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

UPDATE:

A boil order is in effect for residents of the Greenland Mobile Home Park in East Missoula.

Warning fliers were given to residents Tuesday after a damaged water line may have contaminated the water system with E.coli.

NBC Montana checked with officials at the Department of Environmental Quality they tell us chlorinators will be hooked up Friday.  Then they will continually test the water until they know its drinkable.

DEQ hopes to have the water system cleaned up within the few days.

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An E. coli warning is forcing some Missoula area residents to boil their water.

Residents of the Greenland Trailer Court in East Missoula were given notices saying a water line was broken so some wells in that area may be contaminated with E. coli.

Greenland Trailer Park resident Bill Linnell tells us he became aware of possible E.coli contamination after he noticed his water turned off.

“Between 11 and 12 o'clock is when I noticed the water was off,” he explains.  

Linnell says his water was off nearly all day and he wasn't sure why. About 5 p.m. Culligan came by and dropped off water and a notice about what to do.

Several E.coli notices from the property management company hang throughout the trailer court, warning residents not to drink any of the water coming from their wells and urging residents to boil water for all other uses.

“We have to boil anything that we do use and it's best not to shower or wash your dishes unless you boil the water first,” says Linnell.

We asked him what he plans to do for showers.   “Go into town and shower at the in-laws,” he replied.  

Linnell says Culligan will deliver four gallons of bottled water a day to each home, but he says the entire ordeal was not what he wanted for Christmas.

“They just have to keep testing it and when it gets to the right level it's good to use again,” he says.  “It's kind of a pain.”  

We asked Linnell if he knows how long the contamination notice is in effect, but he said he’s not sure.

“I really hope it doesn't take too long for us to be able to use it again, but we don't know,” Linnell says.

If you live in Greenland Trailer Court in East Missoula, do not drink your tap water or even use it for brushing your teeth.  Boil all water before using it.

To contact ADEA Property Management, click here.

Information on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes is available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

E. coli is bacteria from human or animal feces that can be spread through contaminated water or food.

Symptoms for e. coli infection include abdominal cramps, diarrhea that typically turns bloody within 24 hours, and sometimes fever. Children are the most at-risk.

Research shows E. coli causes approximately 100,000 illnesses, 3,000 hospitalizations and 90 deaths a year in the United States.