Mansfield under boil water order – NBC Boston

It’s been a rough start to the week in Mansfield where a boil water order is in effect for the entire city after traces of E. coli in city drinking water and it will probably be banned for days.

The bacterium was detected during routine testing at the Albertini water treatment plant. City officials said as soon as the boil water alert was triggered, questions began to arise about what is safe and what is not.

“It’s good to swim. It’s OK to wash your hands. It’s just to make sure you don’t ingest the water,” Mansfield City Manager Kevin Dumas said.

The city is distributing free cases of water to residents of the Department of Public Works during the emergency. Lisa Newhook waited in a line of cars for some on Monday.

“It’s horrible and it’s scary too because you never know if you’re going to catch something or what’s going to happen to you,” Newhook said.

City officials hope the water will be cleared by Friday at the latest, but Mansfield is not alone. According to state data, parts of Rehoboth, Wilmington and Westport have all recently had outbreaks of E. coli in drinking water. Mansfield’s water operations manager said the weather probably had something to do with it.

“We had a drought and early last week there was a lot of rain. Storm runoff could be a factor that caused that,” manager Shawn Precourt said.

For now, businesses like Cafe on the Common in Mansfield are learning to operate without potable water. They don’t have ice or a soda fountain, but they do boil water to make everything else including coffee and pancakes.

“We get crafty and after COVID we’re used to it,” owner Diane Beatty said.

Lance B. Holton