E. Coli In Towns’ Water Supply
The water district in the town of Warra recently discovered E. coli in their water supply. Risks associated with E. coli can typically be mitigated by boiling the drinking water, however, residents are fuming because they were not notified of a potential contamination until nearly four hours after the discovery.
The Western Downs Regional Council claimed that businesses and residents were notified through SMS text, however, it appears that most residents were not informed of the contamination.
Warra residents are disturbed by the breakdown in communication especially considering the lapse could have a profound effect on public health. One person has even developed symptoms of Gastroenteritis since the initial discovery. The irritation felt by residents is reaching new heights considering the manager of the post office had to learn of the incident from a community resident and many of the text message alerts were sent to people who do not even live within Warra city limits.
Contamination of the public water supply can result in serious injury or death, and data shows that cities that employ an effective emergency communication strategy can reduce the number of injuries following a contamination event.