Residents of Watering Place, Cayman Brac have been advised to refrain from using well water due to high levels of E. Coli and other bacteria.
Affected areas include Poppy Lane, Mary Eli Road and Plaza Drive, the Department of Environmental Health said in a new release.
Residents in those areas are advised against using well water for drinking, bathing, cooking, handwashing, dish washing and brushing teeth, the DEH said.
The DEH also urges residents to boil water from rain catchment tanks before use.
Initial tests were conducted after several residents of Watering Place complained about “sewage like odour” emanating from their well water.
Well water samples tested by the DEH in Cayman Brac on April 13 showed a high level of fecal bacteria contamination.
“Eight water samples were tested,” said Patience Eke, Cayman Brac’s environmental health officer. “After 24 hours of incubation, seven of those samples showed unsatisfactory levels of E. Coli and other coliform bacteria.”
Further tests conducted in DEH’s laboratory in Grand Cayman confirmed initial results. The DEH has since sought the assistance of the Water Authority to conduct more tests.
E. coli and coliform bacteria are commonly found in the digestive tracts of humans and other animals. Its presence in food or water is an indication of fecal contamination. Underground or well water is usually contaminated when there is improper disposal of sewage.
The DEH encourages residents to follow the below procedures if it becomes extremely necessary to utilize well water:
- Boil water;
- Disinfect water with domestic, non-fragrant bleach at a ratio of one teaspoon to every five gallons of water.
The DEH warns against any attempts to disinfect water in the well as it is difficult to estimate the quantity of water, and the potency of the disinfectant may be significantly reduced.