Scofield residents must boil tap water after bacteria found in rural system

(Morgan Jacobsen | Utah Division of Wildlife Resources) Scofield Reservoir.

Residents in the Carbon County town of Scofield were told to boil their tap water, after the system tested positive for two forms of bacteria.

Town leaders issued a 72-hour boil order on Sunday, after traces of coliform and E. coli were found during a routine drinking water test, said Jared Mendenhall, spokesman for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

“A sample came back that showed we needed to take a deeper look at what was going on,” he said, “and make sure human health is protected.”

On Monday, the source of the bacteria still had not been identified, Mendenhall said. Officials from the DEQ’s Division of Drinking Water along with local health leaders and the Rural Water Association of Utah are investigating “to see if one of the springs has an issue.”

About 220 residents who live in the rural town near Price are affected and will likely have to boil tap water — or use bottled water — until at least Wednesday, Mendenhall said.

Residents should boil all tap water for at least three minutes, to ensure that it is free of illness-causing organisms.

Water used for drinking or to prepare food, beverages and ice cubes needs to be boiled under the order. So does water used to wash fruits and vegetables or brush teeth.

The treatment is not needed for water used for showering/bathing or laundry.