Riviera Beach alerts residents about potentially harmful bacteria in water

Riviera Beach alerts residents about potentially harmful bacteria in water

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Recent tests have revealed the presence of potentially harmful bacteria in Riviera Beach drinking water.

The city posted a letter on its website on Dec. 14 saying certain water samples tested positive for coliform, which are bacteria found in the environment, including in animals and in fecal matter.

The city said of its 42 routine monthly water samples in November, more than 5 percent, or three samples, tested positive for coliform.

The letter said the coliform themselves are not generally harmful, but this can be "an indicator that other, potentially harmful, waterborne pathogens may be present or that a potential pathway exists through which contamination may enter the drinking water distribution system."

The city said if the issue is inadequately treated, the water may contain disease-causing organisms that can cause diarrhea, nausea, cramps, and headaches.

The city said residents do not have to boil their water, but added this warning:

The letter said some people may not have received the notice directly, like those in nursing homes, schools, businesses, and people living in apartments.

The Riveria Beach Utility District said it's continuing to test the water to make sure neither fecal coliform or E. coli are present, and is also checking the infrastructure in the Gramercy Park area, and flushing the distribution system.

Copyright 2019 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.