JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Thousands of people on Jacksonville’s Southside are being told to boil their water before drinking it over E. coli concerns.
The majority of those impacted are from J. Turner Butler Boulevard up to Atlantic Boulevard and from Southside Boulevard over to Hodges Boulevard.
JEA told us it first discovered E. coli in a well that supplies water to a water treatment facility around 8:30 Friday morning.
Action News Jax medical expert Dr. Michelle Aquino warns E. coli infections can be deadly, especially for the immunocompromised, the very old and the very young.
“If they’re having difficulty keeping down their fluids ... and they’re having nonstop vomiting and diarrhea, ... you need to go seek medical attention. That is an extremely serious problem and can lead to death,” said Dr. Aquino.
We were first made aware of the boil water advisory impacting more than 16,600 residential customers and 2,900 businesses around 1 p.m.
JEA said it contacted all the impacted customers via text, but three restaurants we spoke with in Town Center said they never received any warning and were forced to scramble to adjust for the busy weekend crowd.
Many Action News Jax employees also live in the impacted area and hadn’t heard anything from JEA as of 5 p.m.
We asked JEA CEO Jay Stowe why some people weren’t being contacted.
Stowe replied that JEA has a “process that we go through” to make sure that everyone is informed. He said that the company aims “to let the general public know and those people that are in those affected areas know what’s going on.”
“We’ll continue to put that out there and be sure that we’re trying to stay on top of that,” Stowe added.
JEA also noted it’s important that you have your most up-to-date contact information linked to your account, adding that outdated contact information could potentially be why some aren’t receiving text alerts.
Stowe also noted shutting down the treatment facility and the issuance of the boil water advisory were out of an abundance of caution.
E. coli was not discovered in the facility itself.
“We have to get the right test back. Again, we test every day and keep an eye on the water system, and this is out of an abundance of caution,” said Stowe.
JEA said it is working on clearing the treatment facility right now, but the advisory could last through the entire weekend.
In the meantime, impacted customers should boil their tap water for at least one minute before consuming it.
You can also drink water bottles.
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