Uxbridge schools to reopen Tuesday, water ban still in effect

Water fountains to be taped or covered in schools

-by Kevin Cullnen, originally posted on June 21, 2016


UXBRIDGE, Mass. – Uxbridge officials said all four schools will open Tuesday after an advisory was issued Sunday about water being contaminated with E. coli.

Superintendent of Schools Kevin Carney said while Tuesday’s schedule will run as planned, all water fountains should be taped or covered to ensure no one drinks the water.

“Even if the water ban is lifted this evening, please encourage students and staff to bring bottled water to school on Tuesday,” Carney said.

Officials said they were notified Saturday by a laboratory that a sample collected on Friday was positive for E. coli bacteria. Residents on town’s water are affected, but DPW could not confirm how many households were affected.

Schools in Uxbridge were closed Monday due to the E. coli contamination.

“Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source (for example, following heavy rains),” officials wrote. “It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes) or a failure in the water treatment process.”

Emergency officials drove around the community notifying people about the contamination Sunday.

Bottled water will be handed out starting at 9 a.m. at the Department of Public Works office.

DPW officials said residents should not drink the water without boiling it first, or they should use bottled water. Residents are asked to discard all ice, beverages, foods and formula made with tap water.

Uxbridge officials said chlorine is being added to the water and the system is being flushed while an investigation into the potential causes is ongoing.

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