A was put in place in Wenham at 3 p.m. on Tuesday after E. coli was found in two water tests in the town on Monday. The boil order has raised many questions and some of the most common and frequent questions are answered below. The State Department of Environmental Protection has a more extensive Q & P page on its website.
What should I do before using the water?
Bring water to a boil for at least a minute before uing it.
How long will the boil water order last?
Until at least Friday, according to Water Superintendent Erik Mansfield and Water Commissioner Richard Quateman. There needs to be two days of clean tests and the approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection to lift the order. If tests are clean on Wednesday and Thursday the boil water order could be lifted as soon as Friday.
Can I take a shower in the water?
Yes, according to Water Commissioner Richard Quateman.
“Showering would be fine,” Quateman told the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday night.
The state Department of Environmental Protection advises that young children that may swallow the water and people with open wounds not shower in the water.
Can I wash my hands with the water?
Yes, but use an alcohol disinfectant or similar product afterward, according to Water Commissioner Richard Quateman.
Can I brush my teeth with the water?
No, according to the state DEP.
Can I use ice I made with the water?
No, officials recommend that the ice be dumped. If you use an ice making system – built in to a freezer, for example – run at least one cycle more to after the boil water order is lifted to make sure it is clear.
Will Brita water filters and filters on the front of my refrigerator make the water safe to drink?
No. A brand new filter may make the water safe to drink, said Water Commissioner Richard Quateman, “but I wouldn’t use it.” Either boil the water for at least a minute before use or use bottled water to make coffee, he said.
The state DEP says “filters are unacceptable for removing bacteria.”
Should I throw out water filter or coffee filters used before the boil order was put in place?
Yes. Either throw them out or thoroughly wash them to make sure they are clean.
Do businesses know about the boil order?
Yes, businesses should know. Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren walked around to the business in the downtown that use water and handed out a notice in addition to sending an e-mail specifically to town businesses.
Is Hamilton water OK?
Yes. The Hamilton water system is completely separate.
Since Beverly gets it water from Wenham Lake, is Beverly water OK?
Yes, while the water comes from Wenham Lake, it is a totally separate system. Wenham gets its water from wells off of Pleasant Street.
How will I know when the boil water order is lifted?
The town government will send out a Connect-CTY phone message when the order is lifted. It will be reported on Hamilton-Wenham Patch as soon as we know.