A well supplying water in southeast Cowlitz County contains E. coli.
The Washington Department of Health alerted the Carrolls Water Association about the situation Friday.
Carrolls is small community that was already under a boil-water advisory since Tuesday because of low water pressure.
Health workers said detecting E. coli in one of the wells makes it even more important that people boil their tap water before drinking it or using it.
The water system is currently operating on three wells and serves 176 homes, an elementary school, and a country store. A fourth well stopped producing water on Monday, causing one of the water system's two reservoirs to drain.
Carrolls Elementary School has been using bottled water and hand-washing stations since Tuesday. The school closed for the winter holidays on Friday.
Residents should boil all tap water used for drinking, brushing teeth, preparing food, washing dishes and making ice. The agency recommends heating the water to a brisk boil for one minute, then allowing the water to cool before using.
The Department of Health directed the water system operator to install emergency chlorination on the infected well, and collect more water samples.
Carrolls Water Association customers who have questions about their water should call Columbia Technical LLC at 360-281-2650.
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