Selbyville under boil water advisory following major main break

SELBYVILLE – Town of Selbyville residents are advised to boil water amid concern of potential E. coli bacteria in the town’s water supply following a major water main break Monday.

The town issued the boil water advisory until further notice and advisory notices are being distributed door to door, Selbyville Town Manager Michael Deal said.

“We have water but it is not actually going through the plant being treated so we are asking people to boil it at least the next two days until we have the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) results back,” said Mr. Deal.

The Division of Public Health Office of Drinking Water will be collecting samples Tuesday, July 14.

“We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water,” the advisory stated.

Water service was disrupted around 5:30 p.m. Monday when a utility company struck a major 12-inch water main on Church Street. Approximately 2,220 customers were impacted, Mr. Deal said.

The main line break drained the water towers, resulting in the possibility of E. coli bacteria entering the water supply, Mr. Deal said.

Repairs were completed about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning but service delayed as the system was still being pressurized. Extra chlorine has been added to the water system.

Selbyville Police Chief W. Scott Collins said late Tuesday morning Church Street and Baker Street are open, but motorists should “expect some occasional lane closures while the more permanent repairs are done.”

Mr. Deal anticipates the utility will be responsible for costs incurred.

“We haven’t got down to brass tacks but that is my goal; to go that direction,” Mr. Deal said.

Following are several informational bullets from the boil water advisory notice being distributed:

E. coli bacteria

E. coli bacteria can make you sick, and are of particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.

What should I do?

  • Do not drink the water without boiling it first.  Bring the water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
  • E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, and people with severely compromised immune systems.
  • The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice about drinking

water from their health care providers.

Additional Information

For more information, contact Michael Deal at 302-436-8314, or Ed Hallock, Program Administrator, Office of Drinking Water at 302-741-8630.

General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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