ALERT: Selbyville water customers warned to boil water

Selbyville water customers are being instructed to boil their tap water to prevent E coli. On Tuesday, July 14, the Selbyville Water Department alerted residents that a broken water main could cause E coli to contaminate the water supply.

“On July 13, 2015, a water main was broken and drained the water tower,” stated an informational flier distributed townwide. “This resulted in the possibility that E. coli bacteria can get into the water supply. These bacteria can make you sick and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems,” including babies, young children and others with severely compromised immune systems.

“E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes [which] can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms,” the flier stated.

Selbyville water customers are being advised to boil water for one minute, and it let cool before using it. That will kill any bacteria or other organisms in the water. Alternatively, customers can, in the short term, just use bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation.

“The water main has been repaired and extra chlorine has been added to the water system. The Division of Public Health Office of Drinking Water will be collecting samples [today],” according to the Town. “We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate resolving the problem within two days.”

Town water was shut off on Monday night, after a utility company struck a water main near Church Street and Baker Alley, the Selbyville Police Department explained in an emergency notification email sent around 7:50 p.m. Monday.

Portions of Church Street were closed until the main was repaired around 5:40 a.m.

However, water pressure remained weak, and residents were asked to not use lawn irrigation until full service is restored.

Summer-school continued as scheduled on Tuesday at the Southern Delaware School of the Arts in Selbyville, which provided clean bottled water to students and staff after learning about the contamination.

For more information, call Town Hall at (302) 436-8314, the Selbyville Water Plant at (302) 436-8349 or the Delaware Office of Drinking Water at (302) 426-4791, or visit the Town website at