BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A boil order has been issued in Bloomfield Township, New Jersey, after E. coli bacteria were found in water samples.

The bacteria were found in samples taken this past Monday in the township. Water Department officials warned that E. coli can make people sick and are of particular concern for those with weakened immune system.

The bacteria can enter the water when increased runoff enters the water source following an event such as heavy rains, or when a break happens in the distribution pipes or the water treatment process fails.

The bacteria come from human or animal feces, and can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms. Officials emphasized that other diseases can cause the same symptoms.

Residents were asked to bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using it. Bottled water also may be used as an alternative.

Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice, officials said.

The water department is chlorinating, flushing, and taking additional samples of the water. The department expects to resolve the problem as soon as possible.

For more information, residents were asked to call Bloomfield Water Department Licensed Operator Anthony Marucci at (973) 680-4009. General guidelines on lessening the risk of infection can be found via the Environmental Protection Agency Safe Drinking Water hotline at (800) 426-4791.

Bloomfield is a consecutive system supplied by the Newark Water Department.

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