ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Environment Department has advised users of the Lovington Municipal Water Supply to boil their water after E. coli was found in drinking water samples.
The advisory affects about 13,200 users, the Environment Department said in a news release on Sunday. Residents are advised to boil water for three minutes before using it for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth.
The presence of E. coli indicates that the water could have been in contact with sewage or animal waste and could have disease-causing organisms, the Environment Department said.
Although most strains of E. coli live in the intestines of healthy humans and animals and are typically harmless, a positive test for E. coli in drinking water may indicate the presence of dangerous E. coli strains or other harmful organisms.
These organisms may cause severe gastrointestinal illness and even death, in rare cases, the Environment Department said.