WARWICK, R.I., Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A boil-water order was in effect for seven Rhode Island communities after tests found a storage tank was contaminated with E. coli bacteria, authorities said.
Kent County Water Authority customers in Cranston, Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick, East Greenwich and some in North Kingstown and West Greenwich were told to boil their water vigorously for at least a minute before drinking it, cooking with it or brushing their teeth with it, the Providence Journal reported Sunday.
About 25,000 customers were affected.
Timothy J. Brown, the authority's general manager and chief engineer, said it was the first time in more than 25 years that the authority had an E. coli contamination in the drinking water supply.
Test results from samples taken Friday came back to the water authority Sunday, indicating the tank was contaminated, Brown said.
The tank was taken off line and the authority notified state health officials, the Journal said.
The boil-water order probably will last three to four days, Brown said.
"We hope by Wednesday or Thursday we'll be clean," Brown said.