Then the well flunked a sanitation follow-up test Wednesday, so when the county got the results back Thursday, it decided to extend the order through Saturday.
“We’re going to have to rehab it or disinfect [the well],” Karda said. “There might be a cracked casing” or something else structural in that well that contributed to the problem.
Karda will know for sure after the health department inspects it Tuesday, but fixing the problem could take anywhere from three days to a month or so depending on what it is, he said.
For now, Karda said, the county has shut down the tainted well and isolated it from the rest of the water treatment system to avoid cross-contamination.
With the tainted well cut off, Broward County will very likely lift the boil water warning Saturday and just rely on the other seven wells.
But E. coli is one nasty critter, and the Florida Department of Health in Broward County is still urging people to be careful until the county gives the all-clear to go back to tap.
The bacterium lives in the lower gut, where it’s usually benign.
But if the wrong strain of it gets into someone’s body, said health department spokeswoman Dr. Paula Thaqi, it can cause fever, diarrhea, nausea, headaches and abdominal cramps.
It incubates anywhere from 6 hours to 10 days before it starts wreaking havoc, and can be especially dangerous for children, older people and people whose immune systems are already weak, she said.
Consumers with questions about the water supply should call the Broward County Water and Wastewater Service at 954-831-3250, or the Hallandale Beach Water Plant at 954-457-1632.