15,000 customers of Nyack’s Water Department were told yesterday to boil their water before using it for drinking or cooking. The advisory will remain in effect for another two to four days or until clean bacteria samples are determined by lab testing. Levels of bacteria that exceed health standards have been found in the water.
Water department crews are raising chlorine levels in the water at the Nyack treatment plant in West Nyack and flushing sections of the water system. Customers in the Villages of Nyack, South Nyack, Central Nyack and a limited portion of West Nyack including the Palisades Center Mall are affected.
The water department recommends customers bring tap water to a rolling boil, boil for one minute, and cool before using for drinking or food preparation. Or, use bottled water certified for sale by the New York State Department of Health. The department says to use boiled or bottled water for:
- making ice
- washing dishes
- brushing teeth
- preparing food.
The alert also comes with an order from the Health Department for all restaurants served by the Nyack Water Department to comply with restrictions to safeguard the public. Measures mandated by the Health Department require restaurants to:
- Turn off water fountains
- Turn off and clean ice machines
- Use only bagged ice
- Bottled water must be used for food cleaning and preparation
- Beverage machines connected directly to the water supply must be turned off
- A notice must advise customers the tap water cannot be consumed
Coliform bacteria, according to health officials, are naturally present in the environment and are an indicator that potentially harmful microbes may be present. Harmful microbes in drinking water can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms and may pose a special health risk for infants, some elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems. But these symptoms are not just caused by microbes in drinking water, according to health officials.
The boil water advisory suggests anyone experiencing any of these symptoms that persist, should seek medical advice.
For additional information contact Nyack Water at 845-358-3734 or visit the Village of Nyack web site at http://nyack-ny.gov or contact the Rockland County Health Department at 845-364-2608 or go to its web site at http://www.co.rockland.ny.us and follow the link for "Nyack Boil Water Order."