If you’re in Broward County on Friday, you still might not want to drink the water.
That is, unless it comes from a bottle or you’ve boiled it first.
For the third day in a row, parts of the county are under a water boil advisory alert after E. coli bacteria was found in the South Broward Regional Well Field site. E-coli has been known to cause diarrhea, kidney failure and cramps, and in severe cases has resulted in death.
With more than 87,000 customers affected in parts of Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Miramar, West Park, Dania Beach and Davie, many stores have been stocking up on bottled products.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
At the Target in Hollywood Mall, shelves that normally hold jugs of water were half-empty. Four-foot high towers of bottled water were set up at the entrance, managers said, knowing customers were going to come by just to stock up.
The water advisory is causing problems for lots of restaurants, including the Einstein Brothers Bagels at 340 N. Park Road in Hollywood.
A sign out front said the coffee-and-bagel restaurant would remain closed as long as the boil alert was in effect.
The store manager said the location will loose at least two days of business.
But just two doors down, Big Louie’s Pizza was prepared. An employee said the restaurant is outfitted with a sophisticated water filtration system and dishes were being washed in a solution of bleach and sanitizer.
Health experts warn people should either use bottled water or water boiled for a full minute for washing dishes, brushing their teeth, drinking, cooking and making ice. Pet owners should also be careful to give clean water to their animals.
Water from the tap is fine for bathing, doing the laundry and for mopping up.
Although the tainted water was found at just one site, officials decided to issue the advisory throughout a bigger swath of the county on Wednesday out of an abundance of caution.
The boil water advisory will be in effect at least through Friday night, said Terry Karda, director of operations with Broward County Water and Wastewater Services. It won’t be lifted until future water samples are clear for two consecutive days.
If any samples tested Friday are contaminated, the boil advisory will be continued.
Follow @ben_brasch on Twitter.