From Ellsworth AFB Facebook page:
Effective immediately, the base populace (all on-base facilities), Antelope Ridge residents, those at Vandenberg Elementary school are under a boil order until further notice due to an on-base water sample exceeding the E. Coli standard. DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. More information is being provided to all affected members on base and in the immediate community.
These bacteria in drinking water can make you sick and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Water should NOT be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in water.
E. Coli can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms (though these symptoms are not only caused by organisms in drinking water). If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist; you may want to seek medical advice from your healthcare provider. People at increased risk should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. You can reach the medical provider on call by dialing 385-6700.
In an effort to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, base officials will be shutting down certain housing in Prairie View Estates. Lastly, Ellsworth is working closely with regional EPA offices to ensure all standards and regulations are met in the interest of everyone’s safety.
ADDITIONAL INFO:The State of South Dakota and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set drinking water standards and have determined that the presence of fecal coliforms or E. Coli is a serious health concern. E. Coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.
Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source (for example, following heavy rains). It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system or a failure in the water treatment process.Bioenvironmental Engineering is taking the following actions to correct this problem – Repeat samples are being accomplished to confirm the presence/absence of E. Coli and investigation of the contamination source is currently being conducted.
Please share this information with all the people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
For more information, please contact your chain of command.