DEP has told 137 households in Kennerdell, Venango County, to boil their water because of intestinal parasite contamination, according to Northwest Regional Water Supply Management Program Manager Forrest Underwood.
"Giradia and cryptosporidium were discovered during recent testing of water system samples," Underwood said. "The boil water order is necessary because of the potential health risk to people living in these households."
The households are receiving their drinking water from two unpermitted spring-fed community water systems. DEP is working with the community water suppliers to begin the permitting process.
Giardia and cryptosporidium are intestinal parasites that can cause acute flu-like illness lasting from 10 days up to two months. They are not bacteria or viruses, but protozoa with complex life cycles who exist in a cyst form. They enter the small intestine, where they "hatch" and can multiply into millions of protozoa.
Most people recover from the diseases within a short time, but they can be fatal for people with weakened immune systems. Not all individuals experience symptoms and may go for months or years without knowing they have a disease.
DEP is meeting with residents and water system representatives to answer questions and to explain what steps need to be taken to develop safe water supply systems.
¨ For more information, contact Community Relations Coordinator Freda Tarbell at 814 332-6816 or e-mail email@example.com.