E. coli in San Antonio Groundwater: No Reason for Alarm
Officials with the Alamo Heights Water System have removed a well from their system after a “raw groundwater” test turned up positive for E. coli bacteria. According to a press release, “raw groundwater” is water that has not yet been subjected to treatment or disinfection, which is part of the process that happens to all water before it is allowed to enter the city’s distribution system as ‘finished water.’
The well was immediately taken offline, and Alamo Heights officials assure residents that all groundwater is treated before it enters the city’s distribution system, and that no water samples taken from the city’s distribution system have tested positive for the bacteria. Therefore, residents were not required by officials to boil or otherwise treat their water before drinking.
While Alamo Heights officials say they took the water offline immediately, and that 15 other samples taken have showed no E. coli contamination, no one knows how long the contamination was present before they discovered it. It’s possible some people contracted an E. coli infection before the bacteria was discovered.
Those who become infected with E. coli usually see symptoms within 3-4 days after their exposure, although sometimes it can take a week or so for symptoms to show up. Among the symptoms can be abdominal cramping, mild to severe, and sometimes bloody, diarrhea, which can run from very mild to quite severe and can sometimes turn bloody, or vomiting. For most people, symptoms disappear within a few days.
Unfortunately, some folks develop a more severe infection, which can result in kidney problems and disease, including a potentially life-threatening form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is deadly to about 10% of those who contract it. Sometimes, even if a victim doesn’t die, they could need months or years of dialysis. Among those most susceptible to the worst forms of E. coli illness are very small children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed after consuming E. coli contaminated water or food, regardless of the source, please contact the Texas Food Poisoning Injury Lawyer at Hill Law Firm immediately for a free consultation, to preserve evidence and protect your rights.