Water tap stock image file photo

FRANKLIN — Residents in this Southeast Idaho city are being told to boil their water before using it because the city’s water system has become contaminated by E. coli due to the possible presence of human and animal waste.

City officials issued the boil advisory for the entire city of Franklin on Sunday urging Franklin residents to not use the city’s water for drinking or other purposes under any circumstances until further notice. E. coli poisoning can be deadly.

City officials said Franklin residents must boil their water for one minute and then let it cool before using it for drinking, brushing teeth, washing dishes, food preparation and making ice. Boiling the water will kill the harmful E. coli bacteria currently present in the city’s water, city officials said.

If residents don’t want to boil their water they should use bottled water for drinking and other purposes.

Franklin is a city of about 640 people just north of the Utah border. Franklin residents are being urged by city officials to spread the word about the boil advisory to all of their neighbors to make sure everyone is notified.

City officials are not saying exactly how Franklin’s water supply got contaminated but a press release issued by the city on Sunday mentioned that E. coli contamination can enter a municipal water system via increased runoff from rain and/or irrigating. Breached water lines can also result in E. coli contamination, the city said.

Symptoms of E. coli poisoning include diarrhea, cramps, nausea and headaches. Franklin residents who start suffering from any of those symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. Young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk of suffering severe health effects from E. coli poisoning.

City officials said they have contacted the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality about Franklin’s contaminated water. City officials also said they will be constantly testing the city’s water quality and will let city residents know when the boil advisory can be lifted.