- A mandatory boil water advisory has been issued for the suburb of Saint-Eustache, which is just 35 km northwest of Montreal.
- The boil water advisory was issued after a water test sample came back positive for the presence of E. coli in the city's aqueduct.
- More details and safety precautions below.
The Montreal suburb of Saint-Eustache is under a mandatory boil water advisory which was first issued on November 20, 2019. The notice on the city's website explains that the boil advisory is "currently in force throughout the territory," after a water sample test came back positive for the presence of E. Coli bacteria.
The sample test conducted proves that the presence of E. Coli is present in the aqueduct water system, meaning that the entirety of the city is impacted and must begin boiling water before any consumption.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency describes as a bacteria that can be spread both by animals and humans, with adult humans able to infect others for up to a week and children up to 3 weeks.
Symptoms of E. coli include nausea, vomiting, headache, mild fever, severe stomach cramps and watery or bloody diarrhea, which can appear between 1 and 10 days after exposure.
The city of Saint-Eustache is instructing citizens to boil water for three minutes before consumption and to ensure the water reaches a rolling boil with large bubbles visible in the pot.
Below is a map of the territory of Saint-Eustache, of which all is currently under a mandatory boil water advisory, as the contamination was found to be present in the city's aqueduct.
The city has also informed schools, businesses and other institutions that they must let their costumers or visitors know that the water is "unfit for consumption" and to close any water fountains as well as post notices near other taps "where water remains available."
Below is a tweet sent out by the city of Saint-Eustache. I believe where it reads "boil the water with large broths," would better translate to large bubbles.
The city has also listed daily activities where water is used that should now be boiled. Those include:
- Preparation of beverages, juices or hot drinks
- The preparation of baby bottles and baby foods
- Washing fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw
- Food preparation
- Making ice cubes
- The brushing of teeth
They also explain that when washing dishes, "use hot water with detergent and allow to dry." If you have a dishwasher, the hot water cycle "ensures disinfection," according to the notice.
The city also informs citizens that tap water is still fine for anything that does not cause the "ingestion of water, such as washing clothes, shower or bath."
The CFIA also informs Canadians that "most people recover completely on their own," to E. coli infection, however, some people may contract a more serious illness that could require hospital care - so be sure to see your health care provider if you notice any of the symptoms listed above.
For more details from the city of Saint-Eustache, head to their webpage here. For more information on the symptoms and causes of E. coli, consider the pages provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency here.
The government of Quebec's Ministry of Environment also addresses boil water advisories in French on their page here.