April 18, 2002 11:00 pm

COVE — The city has advised residents to boil their drinking water because "disease-causing organisms may have entered Cove's water supply."

Residents were notified today, said City Recorder Donna Lewis.

"Recent tests of our well water indicate that the disease-causing parasite giardia lamblia may have entered our water supply system," the notice said.

"Do not drink the water without boiling it first," it said.

Unboiled water could result in nausea, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches, the notice said.

The city routinely chlorinates the water supply to deactivate microbial organisms which might be present in the water and routinely monitors for coliform bacteria in the distribution system and tests have consistently shown no bacteria present, the notice stated.

"However, chlorination is not as effective in deactivating parasites, and coliform tests therefore do not indicate whether or not the parasites are present."

The Cove water, which comes from a deep well, has shown turbidity recently. The city is planning to construct a new well. Meanwhile, it is looking at methods to increase chlorine contact time or other methods to provide adequate treatment for parasites.

— Ray Linker