If you happen to live in Englewood, read carefully before turning on the tap.

According to a press release from the City of Englewood, health officials detected E. coli, a harmful bacteria, in the drinking water of Zone 1 — the pink area seen in the map below.

Zone 1 in the City of Englewood. Courtesy of the City of Englewood.

The City sent out an alert to all Englewood residents on Wednesday (Aug. 4). Residents in Zone 1 are advised to boil their drinking water — as well as water used for teeth brushing, dishwashing, ice making, and food preparation — for three minutes before consumption until further notice.

Courtesy of Anne Mashak.

The City detected the bacteria during a monthly water quality test. While the exact cause of the outbreak is unknown, officials say it could be due to a test site contamination, pipe breakage, cross connection, a backflow event, or a water treatment failure.

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Along with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Tri-County Health, the City is flushing Zone 1's water lines and conducting additional testing to resolve the issue.

The affected water should be safe to drink again in around 48 to 72 hours.

The release noted E. coli often spreads through contact with human or animal waste. Symptoms of an E. coli infection include headaches, cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. Learn more about the bacteria by calling the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

A water distribution center will be available at the Englewood Civic Center (1000 Englewood Parkway) on Thursday (Aug. 5). Questions can be directed to the City's call center at (303) 762-2365.

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