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Contaminated Water from Hurricane Irene Causes Boil Water Alerts


EMSL Analytical provides water testing services to identify biological and chemical hazards following the hurricane. 
Cinnaminson, NJ, August 31st, 2011
Boil water notices have been issued in many counties that suffered damage from Hurricane Irene.  The hurricane caused massive destruction and flooding that has impacted countless communities.  Many of these now face contaminated drinking water supplies due to the storm.
Boil water notices are issued when municipal and private water utilities have concerns over contamination of the drinking water supply.  During the hurricane many reservoirs were flooded with large amounts of runoff that included both chemical contaminants and microbial pathogens.  Flooding caused by the storm can deposit not only rainwater into reservoirs and wells, but also viruses, bacteria and chemical contaminants.  Flood waters come in contact with anything they touch so sewage and potential chemical hazards may exist in some people’s drinking water supply.
A host of bacteria is naturally present in heavy storm runoff and sewage.  Bacteria, such as E. coli and others, can cause devastating damage to people who come in contact with the microorganisms.  Some of these bacteria may also contain dangerous endotoxins. Viruses may also be present.  These infectious agents are a threat to anyone who comes in contact with tainted water supplies. Parasites and protozoa are yet another concern. 
“These microbial pathogens that can cause people to get extremely sick,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc., a leading water testing laboratory.  “It’s very important for people to follow these boil water warnings to prevent possible infections that can in extreme circumstances be life threatening.  Fortunately there are rapid testing services available for water utilities and the general public that can identify contaminants in the water supply,” he continued.
EMSL has sponsored an online video that educates people about environmental hazards following a hurricane.  It can be seen at:
For more information about water and environmental testing following a flood or hurricane, please contact EMSL at (800) 220-3675, visit or email
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, food, and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


 water testing
 flood damage
 microbial pathogens
 E. Coli

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