(Update: This article has been updated to clarify comments and include additional details from Fairhaven Superintendent of Public Works Vincent Furtado on Fairhaven's wells.)
Residents in Fairhaven, Marion, Mattapoisett, and Rochester have been issued a boil water order starting today after E. coli bacteria was detected at the Mattapoisett Water Treatment Plant.
Starting Wednesday, Oct. 6 until further notice, residents of all four communities are asked to boil the tap water for at least one minute before using it for drinking, cooking, making ice, or other uses that may result in ingesting the water.
According to Fairhaven Superintendent of Public Works Vincent Furtado, the bacteria spread from the treatment plant to the area's water system and has been detected in all four towns.
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E. coli is a fecal coliform bacteria that comes from animal excrement and can cause fever, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting.
This is the second time in a month that Fairhaven residents have been issued a boil water order, after E. coli was detected in the town's water system in mid-September.
Furtado said that recent water samples show Fairhaven's wells to be bacteria free.
But he added that officials are investigating all potential sources of contamination.
Residents will be notified when the boil order is lifted and the water is safe to drink.

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