E. coli bacteria contamination forced a boil water order to be put into effect for Rye Water District customers on Wednesday afternoon.

The bacteria, which can sicken people if consumed, was found in a sample taken Wednesday in the Breakfast Hill tank. The presence of E.coli could indicate contamination from human or animal waste that can make one sick, especially those with weakened immune systems.

The situation is being evaluated.

Short-term effects include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. Infants, young children, and the elderly are at the greatest risk.

The bacteria may have gotten into the water from runoff created by heavy rain. It can also happen due to a break in the pipe or a failure in the water treatment process.

Pre-boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, brushing teeth, washing vegetables, food preparation, washing dishes, making infant formula, washing small children, and making ice until further notice.

Portsmouth Water and Aquarion Water customers are not affected.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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