All consumers of the Kent County Water Authority, including those in East Greenwich and the Potowomut and Cowesett neighborhoods of Warwick need to boil their water for at least one minute before using it, or use bottled water instead.
Officials said that E. coli was detected in repeat samples taken from a storage tank in the system on Friday, Sept. 20. The tank, in West Warwick, is not being used and testing will continue daily until the system has been cleared of contamination, Kent County General Manager Jim Brown said Sunday.
"We think we've localized it to a tank," he said.
The boil-water order will remain in place for at least a few days, Brown said. "There won't be sufficient test results for a few days. Testing takes a minimum of 24 and in some cases 48 to 72 hours."
Brown said nothing like this has happened at KWCA in "at least 30 years, if ever."
More than 26,000 residents are serviced through the Kent County Water Authority.
The R.I. Department of Health says symptoms of drinking contaminated water include cramping and nausea.
You can reach the Kent County Water Authority at (401) 821-9300 or at their website here.