• S. Loesser

Aachen tap water contaminated: boil before use

During a routine check, coli bacteria were detected in the drinking water in Stadt Aachen. On Tuesday evening, 26 January, the Gesundheitsamt der Stadt Aachen (Aachen public health office) issued the strong recommendation to boil tap water before use or use bottled water until further notice.

A sample had been taken at a sampling point at the pressure control station in Schmithof, a rural district of the Stadt Aachen around two kilometres east of the Belgian border between Walheim and Sief. At this point drinking water from three water supply works are fed into the system. Though the samples from the individual waterworks are completely inconspicuous, in consultation with the Gesundheitsamt, the precautional measures do apply and not only for the south of Aachen but for the whole city region.

“If you boil tap water for three minutes, children, the elderly and unwell can then use it completely safely to prepare food, make ice cubes, brush teeth as well as for medical purposes (cleaning wounds, rinsing the nose, etc.). For personal hygiene [bathing] the tap water can be used [without prior treatment].”,

it is stated in the official notice from Stadtwerke Aachen AG - STAWAG (municipal utility Aachen).

The contamination’s cause is currently being investigated and all necessary measures to restore the usual high drinking water quality as quickly as possible have already been initiated. This happens in close collaboration with the experts from the Gesundheitsamt. New information is expected this afternoon [27 January] and will be shared on the STAWAG website.

Coli bacteria multiply very quickly and – depending on the bacterial strain – can cause dangerous intestinal diseases in the human body by producing toxins.

The official statement went further to alert residents:

“If you have any medical conditions, please contact your general practitioner and inform the treating physician of this letter."

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