Today could be the day a week-long boil water order is lifted for three of the four SouthCoast communities affected by bacteria contamination in the water.

For the past week, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester, and Fairhaven residents have been boiling their tap water to drink and cook with after E. coli bacteria was discovered in the towns' water systems.

Officials said water samples taken Tuesday and Wednesday were clear except for a few samples in Fairhaven showing low counts of coliform bacteria that isn't E. coli.

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Because water samples must be bacteria-free for three days before the boil orders can be lifted, this means that Tri-Town residents could get the go-ahead to stop boiling their tap water later Friday, depending on Thursday's test results.

However, Fairhaven residents will have to wait at least until Saturday, depending on the results of samples taken Thursday and Friday.

E. coli is a fecal coliform bacteria that comes from animal excrement and can cause fever, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting.
It can be dangerous for the elderly, the very young, or those with weakened immune systems.
Fairhaven residents were also issued a boil water order last month, after E. coli was detected in the town's water system in mid-September.

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