Boil advisory issued for all Jenks water customers

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Updated: 8/09/2013 9:14 pm Published: 8/09/2013 6:36 pm

Jenks water customers need to boil their water.  The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality issued a boil water advisory Friday night.

As a result of the boil advisory, the Tulsa County Health Department will notify all affected businesses as to precautionary measures to take.

18 water samples were taken and one showed signs of E. coli bacteria.  According to Jenks officials, they were notified of an irregular sample and, as a matter of protocol, follow-up tests were conducted again near where the original sample was taken.

After the second test, the water system was flushed and another sample was taken.

Officials expect the third test results to be available mid-day Saturday. 

Residents are advised to boil, for one minute, any water to be used for drinking, preparing food, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, bathing infants who may drink the water, or for cleaning open wounds.

Officials recommend finding an alternate source of water such as bottled water until the advisory has been lifted.
Statement from the Department of Environmental  Quality:
The  Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has advised the City of  Jenks, located in Tulsa County, to inform its residents and users of its  drinking water to use water that has been brought to a full, rolling boil for at  least one minute, bottled water, or water from another acceptable source for  consumption, use in food preparation, dishwashing and brushing teeth.  This  advisory was issued due to the presence of E. coli.

Residents will be  notified when the water is considered safe for human consumption.    Federal law requires that consumers be notified when a public water supply  exceeds certain maximum contaminant levels and might be harmful to the health of  consumers.
Information from the Health Department:

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has advised the City of Jenks to inform its residents and users of its drinking water, including food establishments, that a boil advisory is in effect. This advisory was issued due to the presence of E. coli. Water used in food preparation, dishwashing and brushing teeth should be brought to a full, rolling boil for at least one minute.

In response to the boil advisory, due to the volume of water needed to safely operate a restaurant, all food establishments that serve open food must cease operations immediately until such time that the boil order has been lifted. 

During a water supply emergency, including Boil Water Order/Advisories, water may serve as a source of contamination for food, equipment, utensils, and hands.  Therefore in order to provide protection to consumers and employees, water shall be obtained from sources regulated by law and shall be handled, transported and dispensed in a sanitary manner. 
Retail food establishments that sell packaged food may continue to sell those manufactured items; however, fountain and drink service must be discontinued.

Before reopening once the boil order has been lifted  food establishments must flush their water system, discard previous ice supplies, and wash-rinse-sanitize all food contact equipment.

The Tulsa Health Department works to safeguard public health through education on safe food handling practices and the regulation of food service establishments. THD performs more than 11,000 inspections of approximately 3,500 food service establishments annually. In addition, approximately 500 food safety training classes are conducted each year to educate restaurant employees and other food employees on food safety.

For more information including technical assistance for food establishments please contact the THD Food Safety division at 918-595-4300.

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