Local News

Boil water notice issued in Wilmington after E. coli found in town water

The town said it expects the issue to be resolved in a few days.

Wilmington residents are being advised to drink only boiled or bottled water until further notice due to E. coli being detected in the town's water. (Rory Doyle/The New York Times)

Wilmington residents are being advised to boil their water before drinking it — or to drink only bottled water until further notice — due to E. coli bacteria being detected in the town’s water.


A boil water notice was issued by the town’s Department of Public Works on Thursday after E. coli was detected in a sample from the town’s water storage tank.

The Town of Wilmington said it is resampling the tank with help from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, and that it expects the issue to be resolved in a few days.

The town said it will let residents know when it is safe for them to consume town water without boiling it.


According to the CDC, E. coli infections can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. While most people recover in five to seven days, some infections can be severe or life threatening.

Wilmington residents are advised to bring all water they wish to use to a rolling boil for at least one minute and letting it cool before using it, the notice said. Bottled water is also a good option.

Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, food preparation, brushing teeth, and washing dishes until further notice, the notice said. Using hand sanitizer for cleaning hands is also a good idea.

Residents should discard all ice, beverages, uncooked foods, and baby formula made with tap water collected on or after Sept. 7, 2022, the notice said.

An advisory about the contaminated water said that coliform bacteria were found in a routine sample collected on Tuesday, Sept. 6, from the Hillside Storage Tank.

This meant that three follow-up samples had to be collected at the tank and from water in its immediate vicinity, the advisory said. These samples were taken on Wednesday, Sept. 7, and the next day, the town was notified that E. coli was found in one of the three samples.


According to the CDC, the presence of E. coli in water often indicates that the water has been contaminated by human feces.

Note: This article was corrected to remove an inadvertent mention of the town of Winthrop.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com