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Spring Hope Water Warning Likely Up Through Weekend

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A student at Spring Hope Elementary drinks bottled water.
SPRING HOPE — The Nash County Health Department now saysit's advisory to people living in the town of Spring Hope will probablyhold throughout this weekend. Residents were told not to drink the waterrunning into their homes, because the potentially dangerous fecal coliformbacteria has been found in a well in Spring Hope.

As a precaution everyone in Spring Hope has been asked to boil their water for at least 5 minutes before using it, even for cooking or washing dishes. People are also discouraged from bathing in the water.

It looks clear, but two tests in two weeks have come up positive for fecalcoliform in the Spring Hope water supply. At Spring Hope Elementaryschool, staff members aren't taking any chances. They have turned off thewater completely and are using bottled water. School bathroom facilitiesare working normally.

"You really worry about the health of your child," explains PrincipalFrank Lamm. "Our central office and our teachers and staff make certainthe safety and the well-being of the children come first."

Town manager Al Williams is also concerned about the town's 1,500residents. That's why he and health officials have put citizens on a boilwater notice. He says putting large amounts of chlorine into the systemshould kill any bacteria.

"We're trying to fix the problem as soon as possible," says Williams."But for their safety, the chlorine killing agent has been increased tomake sure there is no bacteria in the system."

The Nash County health director says if people take precautions, no oneshould get sick.

"We're not anticipating an outbreak or an epidemic of any proportions,"Bill Hill explains. "That's what public health is all about-- preventingthose outbreaks. If people take the necessary precautions, they will beasymptomatic and will not even know they've had any problems withcontamination."

The bacteria is found in fecal matter and can cause gastrointestinalproblems. Side effectscanbe serious, but there is no word yeton exactly how much fecal coliform is in the water, or when it will nolonger be a threat.

OnLine Producers:KerrieHudzinskiandMJAinsley