E. Coli Water

Restaurants close after discovering contaminated pipes

Gloria Gjuraj, Staff Reporter

The spread of bacteria has spiked once again with the contamination of waters in the Sandalwood area. On Aug. 26, the Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) discovered E. coli bacteria in wells that supply for the Oakridge Water Treatment Plan. E. coli is a bacteria that indicates that the water could be contaminated with human or animal waste. 

The symptoms of E. coli would be diarrhea, nausea, headaches and cramping. Mayo Clinic advises parents to make sure their kids are kept away from the bacteria because it can develop into deadly infections. JEA called for a boiled water advisory for Town Center and University of North Florida (UNF). Many people say they did not hear from JEA until later that day even though the alert was sent early that morning. JEA asks that all people have their contact information up to date so that they can receive messages like this. 

Restaurants in the Town Center are now offering bottled water and juice boxes in place of any fountain drinks. Unfortunately, this has caused most restaurants in the affected areas to close temporarily. The majority of restaurants at the Town Center have closed or are only selling bottled drinks. 

At UNF the boil advisory was said only to last for 24 hours, but they are to resume with caution. The United States Environmental Protection Agency advises all people to boil their water before doing anything that involves water from the faucet. JEA will be working closely to disinfect the lines and take samples of the bacteria to further analyze. They also plan to test six wells in hopes of clearing the boiling mandate.